Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios Program Names Four New Sites to Membership

Image: David Ireland, 500 Capp Street (interior view, upstairs living room). Photo: Henrik Kam, 2015; courtesy The 500 Capp Street Foundation.

Stockbridge, Mass.(Feb. 12, 2018) –The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced today that four new members have been accepted into their Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios (HAHS) program. Executive Director Donna Hassler and HAHS Program Manager Valerie Balint administer the program, which is funded in part by a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, through Chesterwood, the former summer home, studio and gardens of America’s foremost sculptor of public monuments, Daniel Chester French.

All four new members are the preserved homes and studios of significant American artists and are open to the public.

The new members include historic sites in New York, Maine and California. 

The childhood home of painter Edward Hopper (1882-1967) in Nyack, New York, where the artist had his first studio overlooking the Hudson River, and the Greenwich Village home and studio of sculptor and arts educator Chaim Gross (1904-1991) are among the new members.

A home and studio on Maine’s Monhegan Island, a locale that has drawn artists and writers for centuries, is also joining the program. The home and studio, built by painter Rockwell Kent (1882-1971) was later occupied by his cousin, painter Alice Kent Stoddard (1883-1976), and ultimately by his friend, painter James Fitzgerald (1899-1971).

The recently preserved and opened home of late conceptual artist David Ireland in the Mission District of San Francisco has also joined the program. The 1886 Italianate-style home was transformed by Ireland into a site-specific artwork, widely considered the centerpiece of his career.

“These diverse sites and the stories of the artists who created in these spaces help to advance the collective narrative of our country’s extraordinary artistic legacy,” said HAHS Program Manager Valerie Balint. “Adding these to our consortium continues to enhance a national conversation about visual arts, cultural identity, and the power of place, all of which are seminal to the work of the HAHS network and the National Trust.”

The HAHS program is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the places where art was made in America. “The ability to present Edward Hopper's formative years through the HAHS lens strengthens the message of our mission and will help guide our future,” said Jennifer Patton, executive director of the Edward Hopper House Museum and Study Center. Trustee Wendy Bartley adds, “We feel very fortunate to join HAHS and take our place among the homes and studios of some of America’s greatest artists. We have much to learn from other HAHS members as we continually explore ways to animate for our visitors the sense of Hopper’s early emotional and artistic development.” 

The Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation, recipient of the 2015 Village Award from the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, has long championed the importance of the vision of artist Chaim Gross as preserved in his home and studio in Greenwich Village, according to Executive Director Sasha Davis. “Our mission, centered on research, exhibitions, and educational activities, all around our historic building and art collections, is incredibly well paired with the mission of the HAHS program to further the preservation and interpretation of artists' spaces through collective dialogue and shared challenges,” Davis said.

“Rockwell Kent and James Fitzgerald both sought remote locations as a source for insight and inspiration, choosing to live on an outer island, 12 miles off the Maine coast, where they created some of their finest work,” said Robert Stahl, executive director of The Fitzgerald Legacy, which operates the home and studio of Rockwell Kent through the Monhegan Museum of History and Art. “We view being a part of the National Trust’s HAHS program as an important opportunity to increase the public’s awareness of and accessibility to this site, enabling visitors to experience the interplay between the raw beauty of the island and the creative process of these artists.”

“David Ireland’s sphere of influence and the importance of his house to Bay Area cultural history cannot be overstated,” said Carlie Wilmans, executive director of the 500 Capp Street Foundation. “Ireland’s ideas and creative spirit are ingrained in his home, which is San Francisco’s only historic artist home. It’s an extreme honor to be accepted into the esteemed HAHS and further extend the experience of Ireland’s art and legacy.”

“These institutions are engaging in innovative programming, important scholarship, and responsible preservation initiatives, offering a transformative experience for their visitors,” said Balint. “We are delighted they have accepted our invitation to be part of the program and look forward to working with them.”   

For more information on the new HAHS member sites: 500 Capp Street/David Ireland, Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation, James Fitzgerald Legacy and Edward Hopper House Museum and Study Center