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Get Inspired at These New England Artists’ Homes and Studios

by Barbara Rogers

Mar 6, 2024

Norman Rockwell’s studio © James Kirkikis | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

Generations of artists have chosen New England for their homes and seasonal studios. Many of these studios are now open as museums, where family travelers can get a perspective on how artists worked and where they found their inspiration. Full of visual works, these appeal to children as well as art-loving adults, making them popular attractions for all.

 

At Prout’s Neck, on the Maine coast near Portland, you can look out the windows of Winslow Homer’s studio to see the same scenes and walk along the wave-battered cliffs he painted. Waves still crash on the rocks in plumes of spray, just as he captured them on canvas.

 

Overlooking Vermont’s Mount Ascutney and the Connecticut River Valley, the summer home and studio of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens is set among gardens where some of his most famous public monuments are displayed. His Standing Lincoln and powerful Adams Memorial are the best known, and inside the studio are smaller works and U.S. coins he designed.

 

The other most prominent American sculptor, Daniel Chester French, chose the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts for his summer home and studio. Chesterwood is also set in gardens, and inside the two-story studio you can see how the artist worked on some of his largest monuments.

 

Also in the Berkshires, Norman Rockwell’s studio sits beside a museum devoted to his work and that of other prominent illustrators. His realism and humor appeal to young visitors, who can identify with his family scenes from decades of magazine covers. Many of these feature children, and the works of other illustrators on display are often from familiar contemporary children’s books.

 

Two other New England artists are of special interest to kids: Dr. Suess and Eric Carle, both from central Massachusetts. At The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum in Springfield, kids can engage with art in hands-on activities, experiment with sounds and new words, play rhyming games, and invent stories. The Who-ville gallery features life-sized figures of the Grinch and Max, along with interactive games.

 

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst takes kids inside the work of the creator of The Hungry Caterpillar and other read-aloud favorites. A wide-screen film shows Carle’s process as he cut colored tissue to create the bright collages that illustrate his stories. Admission includes a kit of art supplies and access to a kids’ art studio with inspiration and help for creating their own masterpieces.

 

 

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