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Tuesday, July 05 2016

So Much to Explore at Historic Deerfield

Adapted from a Historic Deerfield press release:

There's a lot going on at nearby Historic Deerfield this month.  Bring the family and make a hand-dyed art project or watch as open hearth cooks demonstrate the making of cooling beverages.  You can also attend this summer's free lecture series, Natural Selections: Flora & the Arts.

Upcoming Programs and Events at Historic Deerfield
(Unless otherwise noted, all programs are included with general admission.)

Flynt Center of Early New England Life Exhibition: "Natural Selections: Flora and the Arts"
Runs through February 12, 2017

This exhibit explores, through more than 20 objects, how nature inspired, impressed, and enlightened society long before the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species in 1859. Using 3 themes, the exhibition examines the subject of flora and how it inspired the decorative arts. "Botanizing" looks at the movement to classify, study, and teach though a selection of educational books and prints detailing floral anatomy and stages of life. "Art in Nature" delves into the museum's rich collection of decorative arts to see how plants and flowers have influenced designers and craftspeople in fields as diverse as textiles, ceramics, furniture, and architecture. Finally, "Bringing the Outdoors In" showcases ceramic and glass vessels which literally brought colorful and fragrant flowers and plants indoors for personal enjoyment and study.

Family Program: "Rainbow in a Pot: Making Dye with Natural Materials"
July 1 through August 14, from Noon to 4:30PM, History Workshop

Join us to explore the remarkable process of making dye. In Colonial times, as well as today, plant parts like roots leaves, stems, and flowers were used for pigments, while other colors came from mushrooms and even insects! Come have fun as you help us prepare the dye pot by gathering dye plants from our garden and nearby fields or by preparing imported dye materials like indigo or cochineal. You will leave with lots of information and a hand-dyed project you have made.

Open Hearth Cooking Demonstrations:  In a Pickle
July 2, 3, 4, 9, 16, 23, & 30, from 10AM to 4PM, Hall Tavern Kitchen

Pickles and jam, lemonade and switchel; during the heat of summer, learn how people in early New England kept cool and preserved summer produce as our open hearth cooks demonstrate the making of cooling beverages and foods like the aforementioned pickles and jam.

Summer Lecture Series: Natural Selections: Flora and the Arts
July 7, 14, & 21, at 7:30PM, at the Deerfield Community Center (16 Memorial Street) in Old Deerfield
This program is free and open to the public.

Make sure your Thursday evenings are open to join us for this celebration of Historic Deerfield's Natural Selections exhibition, which is now on view in the Flynt Center of Early New England Life.  These 3 insightful lectures will explore the horticultural, decorative, and educational aspects of plants and flowers in the 18th and early 19th centuries:

July 7:  Bartram's Garden Curator Joel T. Fry of The John Bartram Association in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, gives a talk entitled "Flowers on the Frontier, The Bartram Family: Scientists, Gardeners, and Artists in 18th-century North America."
July 14:  Binney Family Curator Pamela Weeks of the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell focuses on "Woven Gardens: Floral Motifs and Decoration on Early New England Bed Coverings."
July 21:  Historic Landscapes Curator Erik Wochholz of the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, finishes the series with "Floral Design and the Changing Landscape."

Buildings Archeology Symposium: An Integrated Approach to Understanding Historic Structures
July 16, from 8:45AM to 4:30PM, at the Deerfield Community Center (16 Memorial Street) in Old Deerfield.
$95 per person ($85 for Historic Deerfield members), registration required.

The study of historic buildings to pinpoint both their initial period of construction, as well as later modifications, has come to rely on a variety of disciplines and areas of expertise that, when combined, help build a strong and highly accurate case for the evolution of a structure.  We will explore this approach and introduce some of the methods and materials available to those who work with, or live in, historic structures.  Topics to be addressed include period documentation, tool marks, paint stratigraphy, dendrochronology, and fastener evolution.

The symposium will feature notable speakers on the topic of building archaeology including UMass-Amherst Historic Preservation Program Historical Consultant/Adjunct Faculty Myron Stachiw, Preservation Carpenter/Educator Robert Adam, Building Conservation Consultant Tom Paske, Architectural Conservation Services Architectural Conservator John Vaughn, Historic Deerfield Architectural Conservator Bill Flynt, and Social & Architectural Historian Claire Dempsey.

To view the complete schedule and to register online, visit or contact Julie Orvis at (413) 775-7179 to register by telephone.

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.

Historic Deerfield will be open daily, from 9:30AM to 4:30PM, through December 23, 2016, with the exceptions of being closed for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.  The Memorial Libraries are open Tuesdays through Fridays, from 9AM to Noon and 1PM to 5PM.  The Museum Gift Shop & Bookstore is open daily from 9:30AM to 5PM.

Admission, which includes all museum houses, the History Workshop, the Apprentice's Workshop, and exhibitions at the Flynt Center of Early New England Life, is $14 for adults and $5 for children ages 6 to 17.  Children under age 6, Deerfield/South Deerfield residents, and members are free.

For more information, please call (413) 775-7214 or visit