Take an Inspiring Armchair Journey Through Historic Artists' Homes in America

  • May 11, 2020 15:25

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Atrium with Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ “Amor Caritas” (1898)
Photo: Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park, Cornish, N.H., U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service

Want to spend the weekend at Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner's Hamptons cottage? View the desert gardens from Georgia O'Keeffe's beloved Abiquiu? Take a virtual getaway there and to dozens more amazing artists' places with a fresh travel guide.  

A new guidebook to Historic Artists' Homes and Studios, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, reveals 44 properties across the country associated with the legacies of over 300 artists, spanning three centuries. Published by Princeton Architectural Press and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, this 256-page guidebook illustrates preserved artists' homes and studios across 5 distinct regions and 21 states in the nation. 

Floor of Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner studio in 2018
Photo: Jeff Heatley, Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, East Hampton, N.Y.

When open to the public, these historic sites offer immersive, place-based experience to over 1 million visitors a year. For armchair visitors during the health crisis, this new book richly illustrates the environmentshomes, studios, gardens and exterior setting—experienced and shaped by artists who were catalysts for creativity.

From the desert vistas of Georgia O’Keeffe’s New Mexico ranch to Winslow Homer’s studio on the rocky, windswept coast of southern Maine, the homes and studios in the network are sites of extraordinary creativity. Guide to Historic Artists’ Homes & Studios (June 2020, $29.95 ) is the first guidebook to the network, conveying each artist’s visual legacy and setting each site in the context of its architecture and landscape, which often were designed by the artists themselves.

Thayer Tolles, Curator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and President of the Saint-Gaudens Memorial (Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park, Cornish, New Hampshire) says, "This highly anticipated guide presents an intriguing cross-section of creative spaces from New England to California, enticing us to travel—both virtually and physically—to the homes and studios that were carefully crafted reflections of the painters, sculptors, and designers who occupied them. With accessible text and handsome illustrations, Guide to Historic Artists’ Homes & Studios is a resource for all—from long-time preservationists to those experiencing the power and pleasure of artistic place for the first time.”

Through portraits, artwork, and site photos, discover the powerful influence of place on American greats such as Andrew Wyeth, Grant Wood, Lee Krasner, and Donald Judd, as well as lesser-known but equally creative figures who made important contributions to cultural history---multimedia artist James Castle, photographer Alice Austen, and muralist Clementine Hunter among them.

Winslow Homer Studio, showing “the piazza,” from which the artist enjoyed panoramic vistas of the ocean and coastline, Prouts Neck, Maine.
Photo: Portland Museum of Art

“Spread across the country, some of these sites tell stories of a single artist, some of artist-couples, some of artist colonies, and some of generations of artists who worked in the same space,” writes Wanda M. Corn, Chair, Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios Advisory Committee, in her foreword. “The HAHS motto is ‘Witness Creativity,’ and creativity knows no bounds. Each and every one of these sites makes me thankful that these places are now being acknowledged, cared for, and interpreted as part of this country’s art history and heritage.”

Andrew Wyeth Studio, with reproduction of “Raccoon” (1958) on the easel and reproduction drawings taped to the wall.
Photo: Carlos Alejandro, Brandywine River Museum of Art, Chadds Ford. Pa.

Organized by region, Guide to Historic Artists’ Homes & Studios weaves the history of the sites’ architecture and landscape with the artists’ biographies and their visual legacy. The guide features portraits of the artists, examples of their artwork, site descriptions, and photographs as well as visitor information and a site map.

Author Valerie Balint writes in her introduction, “Art is the result of both a physical and mental practice, but what is displayed in a museum represents only the results. Artists’ homes and studios help us imagine the form of this rigorous process by allowing us to see where art was actually made and exposing us to the same input as the artists: they reveal not only an artist’s process, but what in the environment inspired it.”

“Guide to Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios”
By Valerie A. Balint, Foreword by Wanda M. Corn
Princeton Architectural Press
(256 pages, $29.95)

Set for worldwide release on June 2, pre-order at:  


Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781616897734


Also available now on Kindle.

For more information about the HAHS program, visit artistshomes.org.

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