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Friday, January 17 2014

Furniture Masterworks Lectures at Historic Deerfield

Adapted from a Historic Deerfield press release:

Historic Deerfield will present its annual free winter lecture series, "Furniture Masterworks: Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture", with lectures on Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. in January, February, and March at Garonzik Auditorium in the Koch Science Center on the campus of Deerfield Academy.

The first lecture, entitled "Brilliance Revealed: Original Palettes of Early New England Furniture," will be presented on Sunday, January 26th.  Susan L. Buck, Ph.D., Conservator and Paint Analyst, will show how 17th and early 18th-century interiors were far more colorful than we can imagine: even middling houses often had brightly painted furniture, high-contrast patterned textiles and intensely pigmented woodwork paints. Twenty-five years of technical research into the original paints and varnishes used to decorate early American painted furniture and woodwork has consistently revealed how solid background colors, and complex geometric and floral designs, have naturally darkened and degraded over time. This research, using optical microscopy techniques, has also revealed how early decorations were deliberately altered or painted over to suit changing tastes or to improve what was deemed too worn or dirty. This presentation will help to change perceptions of the painting skills and colorful palettes of early New England decorative painters and their clients. 

The lecture series continues with "Making a Masterpiece: The Turret-Top Tea Table at Historic Deerfield", on Sunday, February 23rd, and "The Furniture of Western Massachusetts: Tradition, Innovation and Regional Identity", on Sunday, March 23rd.

Winter Hours and Admission Information:

The Flynt Center of Early New England Life will be open Saturdays and Sundays, January 4, 2014 - April 13, 2014, 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.  Visitors can enjoy current exhibitions and "The Museum's Attic" gallery.  Seasonal Winter Admission: $7 Adults, $5 Youth (ages 6-17), under 6, Deerfield/South Deerfield residents, and members free. Historic Deerfield's museum houses are closed to the public during the winter months (January through mid-April), although pre-arranged tours-by-appointment, school tours, and group tours can still be scheduled. For more information, call (413) 775-7132 or e-mail The museum will reopen for the 2014 Season on Saturday, April 19, 2014.


About Historic Deerfield, Inc.
Historic Deerfield, Inc., is dedicated to the heritage and preservation of Deerfield, Massachusetts, and the Connecticut River Valley. Its museums and programs provide today's audiences with experiences that create an understanding and appreciation of New England's historic villages and countryside.

Regular season admission is $14 for adults (18+), $5 for children (6-17), free for children under 6, members and Deerfield residents.  The museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (excluding Thanksgiving Day and December 24th & 25th).  For more information, please call (413) 775-7214 or visit