I’d love to know the name of the designer of this plate.
Jean-Francois Millet’s famous painting, "The Sower," is the inspiration for the design. That painting was/is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, so the Club members would have probably considered it a familiar image.
Info from the following website:
"Originally founded as the Twentieth Century Club, the name was changed to The Twentieth Century Association for the Promotion of a Finer Public Spirit and A Better Social Order in March, 1934 in one of the many disputes with the government over its tax exempt status.
The announcement of the first organizational meeting went out in November of 1893. The club officially started in Boston in January, 1894. The club was incorporated under Massachusetts law in August, 1895, by Edwin D. Mead, S.B. Pearmain, Thomas B. Lindsay, Mary Morton Kehew, Davis R. Dewey, Daniel C. Heath, Lucia T. Ames, William Ordway Partridge, John Graham Brooks, and J. Storer Cobb.
Membership in the club was open to men and women over the age of 21 who had "rendered some service in the fields of science, art, religion, government, education or social service; and those who in their business, home life, or civic relations have made some contribution to the life of the community, state or nation, worthy of recognition…[and] young men and women who have manifested an interest in the aims of the club and a desire to fit themselves for civic and social usefulness." There was, at least originally, a cap on the number of women members, keeping them at significantly less than half the membership. Club publicity from 1914 stated that there was "no color bar on membership or guests or speakers."
Club activities centered around Saturday Luncheons. Begun as men-only affairs, they were opened to women by 1895. These informal gatherings were meant as forums for the sharing of ideas and viewpoints across the political spectrum. Originally speakers and topics were chosen from the floor at each luncheon, but as the club grew speakers were chosen formally in advance. Speakers were told to expect vigorous questioning. Members were allowed to recruit other members and use club facilities to mount any kind of campaign, but the club would not take an official stand on any issue. Speakers included: newspapers editors, reformers, missionaries, socialists, educators, authors, labor leaders, economists and others.
The Club was originally divided up into departments: the House Department, Art Department, and Education Department. Later these departments were divided up into committees which came and went as there was interest amongst the members. Committees included Art, Music and Drama, Education, Speakers List, Membership, Tenement, Motion Picture, and Research.
These committees sponsored such events as free organ concerts, plays, ticket exchanges, cheap tickets for students, lectures in schools for educators, Biblical lectures, public forums, and more. They also researched housing conditions in Boston and made suggestions to the city, surveyed the condition of motion picture and vaudeville theaters, protested censorship and film distribution practices, and ran an informal speakers bureau. Many programs started by the club were later taken over by the government or other organizations.
There is no clear indication when the club stopped functioning. Minutes end on May 2, 1964, but event announcements continue to 1969."