It’s late September and we just spent 4 days in Lenox and Stockbridge Massachusetts. Back to nature. The photo above was taken behind our hotel. This area was home to several artists and authors. While living here Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote “The House of Seven Gables”, Herman Melville wrote “Moby Dick”, Edith Wharton wrote “The House of Mirth”, Norman Rockwell and Daniel Chester French had studios for their work. It attracted many wealthy patrons looking to build ‘summer cottages’ in a town with a multicultural atmosphere. It became known as the “inland Newport”.
We visited a couple of the “Summer Cottages” that have been restored. The Mount was built and designed by Edith Wharton in 1902 with architects Ogden Codman Jr. and Francis L.V. Hoppin. The house, gardens and surrounding woods were created to compliment each other. This classical revival house represents the only full expression of Wharton’s architectural interests. The drive through the periwinkle clothed woods to the main house mimics the meandering of a brook through the woods.
Another beautiful example of The Gilded Age cottages in The Berkshires is the 1885 Naumkeag Museum and Gardens. Designed by Stanford White for Joseph Choate, noted attorney and Ambassador to the Court of St. James. The tour shares the love story connected to the 44-room summer cottage making the Choate family come to life. The landscaped gardens were designed by Fletcher Steele and Mabel Choate. Walk through the Moon Gate into the Chinese Gardens and stroll eight acres of landscaped gardens.
The Norman Rockwell Museum contains the world’s largest collection of original art by America’s favorite illustrator. The museum building and his last studio are set on a 36-acre landscape with scenic views. I have a new appreciation for his paintings and the stories they inspire. The sculptures on the grounds were created by his son.
Chesterwood, the summer estate of Daniel Chester French, sculptor of the seated Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial at Washington DC. We were able to tour the grounds, his work studio and home.
Until next time. Have a wonderful life filled with beautiful days.
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