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"Returning to the Manse as a Ghost"

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Madeline Yale Wynne (1847-1918) grew up in Newport, New York, the daughter of the inventor of the Yale lock. She was married to Henry Winn in 1861, and had two children with him. They drifted apart and divorced, and she began to study art intensively. Several years later, she changed the spelling of her name and purchased the Old Manse, a house in the center of Deerfield, Massachusetts, now used as the Deerfield Academy's Headmaster's House, in 1885. She lived there with her companion, Annie Cabot Putnam, and her mother. In Deerfield, she took up metalworking, the art that gave her a prominent reputation in the Arts and Crafts movement. She remained in Deerfield until her death, spending the summers there; her winters were spent in Chicago, Illinois. This painting is one of the few surviving examples of her brushwork, although she painted extensively before 1885. In it, she imagines herself returning to the home she refurbished and loved as a ghost. Although there is no solid evidence, it is possible this has happened once or twice since her death in 1918.


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