Weir Farm National Historic Site
Weir Farm National Historic Site is located in Ridgefield and Wilton, Connecticut. It commemorates the life and work of American impressionist painter J. Alden Weir and other artists who stayed at the site or lived there, to include Childe Hassam, Albert Pinkham Ryder, John Singer Sargent, and John Twachtman.
|Weir Farm National Historic Site|
|Location||735 Nod Hill Road|
Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States
|Nearest city||Wilton, CT|
|Area||60 acres (24 ha)|
|Visitors||34,802 (in 2014)|
|Governing body||National Park Service|
|Website||Weir Farm National Historic Site|
Both sites maintain ongoing artist-in-residence programs; to date, the Weir Farm Art Center (formerly the Weir Farm Trust) has hosted more than 150 artists for month long stays at the site. Weir Farm also runs an ongoing "Take Part in Art" program, under which visitors can create their own works on site.
After considering the Keene Valley area of New York's Adirondack Mountains for a rural retreat, in 1882 Weir settled instead on hilly countryside in the Branchville section of Ridgefield, acquiring a 153-acre farm there from Erwin Davis in exchange for $10 and a painting. Weir and artists he hosted subsequently produced a large number of paintings depicting Ridgefield landscapes and other nearby countryside.
Weir's daughter Dorothy Weir, a noted artist in her own right, took over management of the property following her father's death in 1919. Sculptor Mahonri Young would build a second studio at Weir Farm after the couple married in 1931.
Artist Sperry Andrews would befriend Mahonri Young and spent several years keeping him company while painting the site. After Mahonris death Sperry would purchase the property and his wife Doris Andrews lead efforts with Cora Weir Burlingham to preserve the Weir Farm site, resulting in the U.S. government designating it a National Historic Site in 1990. Prior to its permanent protection, Weir Farm had been subdivided for housing development in the late 1980s. The Trust for Public Land worked to reacquire the divided land through close to 2 dozen transactions. The Trust for Public Land worked in partnership with the Weir Farm Trust and the State of Connecticut to advocate for its permanent protection. Sperry and his wife Doris Andrews were given life tenancy, and would give impromptu tours of the studios to park visitors until after both had passed.
Afterwards the site underwent extensive restoration to transform the park into a more visitor friendly experience. The two artist studios and house were restored to period, and in May 2014 were made accessible to the public again.
In 2007, the U.S. Department of the Interior sought Congressional approval for the National Park Service to acquire space in nearby Redding, Connecticut for administration and operational support to Weir Farm. Under existing federal law at the time, the National Park Service was authorized to secure expansion space in Ridgefield and Wilton only.
Notable residents and visitorsEdit
- http://www.nps.gov/wefa/historyculture/index.htm "Weir Farm National Historic Site Connecticut: History and Culture," Retrieved 2014-05-03.
- http://www.nps.gov/wefa/historyculture/index.htm "Weir Farm National Historic Site Connecticut: History and Culture," National Park Service. Added 2014-05-03.
- http://www.nps.gov/wefa/supportyourpark/artist-in-residence-program.htm "Artist-in-Residence program," National Park Service. Retrieved 2014-05-03.
- http://www.nps.gov/wefa/planyourvisit/tpia.htm "Take Part in Art," National Park Service. Retrieved 2014-05-03.
- http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/atb/"America the Beautiful Quarters Program," U.S. Mint. Retrieved 2014-05-02.
- http://www.nps.gov/wefa/historyculture/stories.htm "Weir Farm National Historic Site Connecticut: Stories," National Park Service. Retrieved 2014-05-03.
- http://www.nps.gov/wefa/historyculture/jaldenweir.htm "Julian Alden Weir," National Park Service. Retrieved 2014-05-02.
- http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/wefa/clr.pdf "Cultural Landscape Program for Weir Farm National Historic Site," Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation, National Park Service. Retrieved 2014-05-02.
- http://www.nps.gov/wefa/historyculture/dorothyweiryoung.htm "Dorothy Weir Young," National Park Service. Retrieved 2014-05-03.
- https://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/16/arts/design/16andrews.html?_r=0 "Sperry Andrews, 87, Painter Who Preserved Weir Home, Is Dead," New York Times, 2005-08-16. Retrieved 2014-05-02.
- "Weir Farm National Historic Site". The Trust for Public Land. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
- "Sperry Andrews". National Park Service Website. 2017-07-18. Retrieved 2017-07-18.
- "Restoration". National Park Service Website. 2017-07-18. Retrieved 2017-07-18.
- http://www.nps.gov/wefa/photosmultimedia/historic-artwork.htm "Artwork Galleries," National Park Service. Retrieved 2014-05-02.
- http://www.doi.gov/ocl/hearings/110/HR1836_103007.cfm "Statement of Karen Taylor-Goodrich," U.S. Department of Interior Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs Hearings and Testimony 110th Congress, 2007-10-30. Retrieved 2014-04-30.
- http://www.nps.gov/wefa/historyculture/upload/Family-and-Friends.pdf "Letter No. 3," Weir National Historic Site Connecticut: Family and Friends," National Park Service. Retrieved 2014-05-02.
- http://www.nps.gov/wefa/photosmultimedia/historic-artwork.htm "Weir Farm National Historic Site Connecticut: Artwork Galleries," National Park Service. Retrieved 2014-05-03.