Dorothy Riester House and Studio

Dorothy Riester, b 1961- d 2017
Hilltop House and Studio at Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, 3883 Stone Quarry Road , Cazenovia, NY 13035 - view on Google Maps
“I see spatial relationships in everything, even in my dreams. For me, sculpture is the process of balancing these relationships 'until they sing.' I always see real-life objects in terms of shapes, light, contrasts, and natural spaces.”
—Dorothy Riester
The Hilltop House and Studio at Stone Quarry Hill Art Park is the artist-built home and studio of artist, author, and preservationist Dorothy Riester and her husband Robert Riester. Stone Quarry stewards the Riester’s story to nurture and inspire in others an appreciation for modern architecture and design, and a reverence for the ever-changing relationship between art and nature.  Stone Quarry Hill Art Park encompasses 104 acres, including the original 23 acreage of the home and studio site.


The Hilltop House and Studio permeate the boundary between indoors and out, and exemplify a life lived in art. Riester’s studio practice was not limited to one space, but to wherever she felt most inspired to fulfill an artistic vision, saying, "The natural spaces in the Art Park, with the changing light and seasons, are an artistic opportunity."

Dorothy Riester was an active sculptor, an ardent conservationist and preservationist, author, and a well-known educator. Riester helped to train and influence a generation of artists, playing a role in disseminating modern and contemporary American artistic and sculptural sensibilities. Riester was an innovator who did not shy away from experimentation in her choice of materials and design concepts, a perseverance that gained her acclaim throughout her career. As a ceramicist and metal worker, Riester’s reputation as a skilled “sculptress” was on the rise in the late-50s. Riester incorporated ideas about the environment and landscape in her work and became interested in the outdoors as a space for large-scale sculpture.

In 1958, Dorothy and her husband made the pointed decision to leave the city of Syracuse and establish their home in the countryside of Cazenovia. She imbued both the home and the landscape with her unique design and modern architectural style. While living and working at Stone Quarry Hill for over 40 years Riester created a prolific collection of art in a variety of mediums, while encouraging the next generation of artists by showcasing their works throughout her property. This dual nature of her impact, both as an innovative artist and benevolent mentor, is evident on the grounds and in all aspects of the home and studio buildings.

Riester’s influence has been largely underreported. She was beyond “just” an artist, or an educator, or an author, or a preservationist, she helped to expand these fields by continuously questioning the practices, and pushing the boundaries of what she, and others, could do. Her life was the culmination of these efforts and passions, spearheaded mainly from the home and studio she created in the rural hills of central New York.

In 1991, Dorothy and Bob founded Stone Quarry Hill Art Park– a non-profit contemporary arts space with grounds and trails open to the public. The Riester's gifted their land and eventually their home and estate to the organization, and today the site continues to be open to the public year-round.

Did you know...?

Dorothy lived to 100 years of age; her home and studio were listed with the National Register of Historic Places in her lifetime.


The sites includes an extensive archive and objects collection, including artworks by the artist; a large collection of Riester's sculptural maquettes; her personal collection of art and decorative art objects including mid-century designer furniture; souvenirs from global travel; a reference/research library; and an artist-designed landscape. 




  • Take a guided tour of the historic home
  • Experience permanent ourtdoor sculpture installation
  • Walk the extesive trails
  • Picnic by the pond
  • Take in the expansive view
  • Attend annual exhibitions
  • Apply for an artist residency
  • Engage with a living artist in Riester's historic studio
  • Fly a kite
  • Snowshoe