Roger Brown’s extensive collection of art––a mélange of objects from many cultures and genres––is preserved as an artists’ museum in an 1880s storefront building, modified by Brown into a studio, residence/collection, and garden, reflecting his aesthetic and suiting the needs of this late 20th century artist. Like stepping into the artist’s mind, the RBSC is a kaleidoscopic experience of objects arranged by Brown into a visual gesamtkunstwerk.
This 190-acre site features the home, studios, and gardens of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, one of America’s greatest sculptors. More than 100 of the sculptor’s artworks are exhibited in the galleries and on the grounds. The natural beauty of mountains and forest inspired Saint-Gaudens. As you stand on the porch looking across the fields toward the mountains beyond, you also can feel the special quality of place that allowed Saint-Gaudens’ artistic vision to flourish.
Woodworker Sam Maloof is best-known for creating elegantly shaped and sculpted California Modern art furniture, but his hand-made home is perhaps his most extraordinary work of art. In a visit to the Maloof, one sees the work of a celebrated American craftsman, and experiences his mastery of light, color, and materials that create a beautiful, serene and inspirational residential environment. Visitors discover Maloof’s own work and his art collections, his gardens, and the natural landscape that inspired his greatest work.
T.C. Steele State Historic Site includes the last home and studio of Indiana landscape painter Theodore Clement Steele, a member of the Hoosier Group of American Impressionist painters. Gardens and woodlands around the House of the Singing Winds, as he named it, inspired many well-known works. Hills, woods and sky continue to inspire visitors. The historic buildings are filled with original artwork, surrounded by 211 acres of gardens and wooded trails.
This is the place where American art was born. Landscape painter Thomas Cole originated America’s first major art movement, now known as the Hudson River School, which sparked a new appreciation for the beauty of America’s landscapes. His groundbreaking achievements took place here at Cedar Grove, his home and studio. The Thomas Cole National Historic Site is a National Historic Landmark that welcomes thousands of visitors each year, featuring changing exhibitions of landscape paintings, guided tours of Cole’s gracious 1815 home and studio, and sweeping views of the Catskill Mountains that Cole loved.
All the rooms in the rambling bungalow of American Regionalist painter, muralist, sculptor, writer, and musician, Thomas Hart Benton, remain virtually as he left them, with his painting tools, supplies, and stretched canvas in the studio.
Weir Farm National Historic Site, the only National Park Service site dedicated to American painting, was home to three generations of American artists. Today, the 60-acre park, which includes the Weir House, Weir and Young Studios, barns, gardens, and Weir Pond, is one of the nation’s finest remaining landscapes of American art.
Wharton Esherick is considered one of the most important furniture designers of the twentieth century. His home and studio, built and expanded over a period of 40 years, reflects the Esherick’s evolving style, from Arts & Crafts to the Studio Furniture Movement. Left as it was when he lived and worked there, the complex of buildings display Esherick’s genius for designing for human comfort, enjoyment, and use. Esherick considered his studio his autobiography. Visitors interact with the space and touch the wooden sculpture and furniture.
Winslow Homer spent his final decades living and working in this rustic structure, perched on Maine’s rocky coast, where he created powerful images of crashing surf and humankind’s struggles against the elements—paintings that are widely considered among the greatest masterpieces of American art. The Winslow Homer Studio provides an intimate experience of the place that inspired Homer’s most celebrated marine paintings. Visitors walk through the spaces in which he lived and worked, and see the ever-changing natural drama of the ocean crashing against the rocky shore.