Studio  September 30, 2020  Chandra Noyes

Step Into History: Artists' Homes and Studios You Can Visit

Created: Wed, 09/30/2020 - 16:58
Author: chandra

If a roadtrip is in your future, a new publication from Princeton Architectural Press may be just what you need to add some art history to your vacation. Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Historic Artists' Homes and Studios program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Guide to Historic Artists' Homes and Studios, by Valerie A. Balint, will lead you to some of America's art historical gems.

The forty-four museums in this network are found in all regions of the country, and include some of America's most famous artistic voices, like Georgia O'Keeffe and Jackson Pollock. Visiting the homes and studios of these visionaries presents a unique opportunity to step into their shoes and experience their everyday lives. Many of the homes were designed by the artists themselves, making them their own work of art. Here we highlight eight stunning studios and homes that convey artists' lives and legacies.

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Photograph by Carlos Alejandro, Courtesy Brandywine River Museum of Art, Chadds Ford, PA
Andrew Wyeth Studio, with reproduction of Raccoon (1958) on the easel and reproduction drawings taped to the wall
Andrew Wyeth Studio, Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art

Born and raised nearby, Andrew Wyeth’s studio and home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, now part of the Bradywine Conservancy & Museum of Art, shaped the artist’s vision throughout his career. Though many of his works feature the Maine landscape of his summer home, it was in his rural Pennsylvania studio that the artist worked until his death in 2009. His studio, shown here with a reproduction of Raccoon (1958), has been meticulously recreated, giving insight into his process. Visiting the site has the added bonus of experiencing the studio of his famous father, N.C. Wyeth, and seeing how the landscape influenced the work of his son, Jamie Wyeth.

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Photograph by Carri Manchester, Courtesy Olana State Historic Site
South Façade, Main House, Frederic Edwin Church’s Olana, Hudson, N.Y. 2006
Olana State Historic Site

As the premier landscape artist of his time, Frederic Edwin Church had an intimate understanding of the natural world. It makes sense that the estate he created in the Hudson River Valley would reflect this. Olana features a beautiful Persian-inspired home, filled with treasures from abroad, on 250 acres over-looking the Hudson River.

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Photograph by Jeff Heatley, Courtesy Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, East Hampton, NY
Floor of Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner Studio, covered in splatters of paint
Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center

The Pollock-Krasner home and studio in East Hampton, New York, offers the rare opportunity to experience the homelife of two of modern art’s greatest voices. Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock shaped Abstract Expressionism, and you can visit the room where it all happened. The floor of their studio is a work of art on its own, the spills and detritus left behind by Pollock’s dripped paintings creating a work in and of itself.

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Photograph by Charles LeRette, Courtesy Polasek Museum and Sculpture Garden, Winter Park, FL
Albin Polasek Studio Interior
Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens

The Florida retirement home of sculptor Albin Polasek is a testament to the man’s varied and fruitful career. Born in Czechoslovakia, the figural sculptor created numerous public monuments and was the head of the sculpture department at the Art Institute of Chicago. His lakeside home in Winter Park features extensive gardens that showcase his work.

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Photograph by Don Freeman, 2017
Interior of the Studio at Daniel Chester French’s Chesterwood, Stockbridge, Mass., with “Andromeda” and the seated “Abraham Lincoln,”
Chesterwood

Daniel Chester French is best known for his monumental and iconic sculpture of the seated, contemplative Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. French created hundred of monuments nationwide, many of them at his rural retreat in the Berkshires, Chesterwood, which is filled with maquettes of some of his most important works, like Andromeda and Abraham Lincoln.

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Photograph by Elizabeth Felicella, Courtesy The Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation
Interior Chaim Gross Studio, one large wall of windows and a room full of sculpture and art on the walls
The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation

Sculptor Chaim Gross’ Manhattan home and studio was beautifully designed by the artist to showcase his work. The sculptor and his wife, Renee, were an essential part of the New York art world for much of the twentieth century. Their home, which now includes a rotating gallery space, features their incredible personal collection, with works from the greatest artists of their day.

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Courtesy US Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park, Cornish, NH
a courtyard garden with green grass, a rectangular pond with waterlilies, and a gold statue
Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park

One of the Gilded Age’s most sought-after sculptors, Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ monuments still grace parks and squares across the country. His Beaux-Arts style infused modernity with elegance and grace, qualities embodied in his Cornish, New Hampshire estate. A retreat from city life, the natural tranquility of the home and gardens is enhanced by the artist’s sublime sculptures.

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©trentbellphotography, Courtesy Portland Museum of Art, Maine
a grey cape cod style house on a green lawn
Winslow Homer Studio, Portland Museum of Art

The Prouts Neck, Maine home of Winslow Homer looks like it stepped out of one of the artist’s own paintings. A short ride from Portland, the rocky coastal landscape and simple lifestyle he enjoyed here directly shaped the artist’s work, making the home a unique opportunity to visit inside the mind and works of the great American artist.