New England and Connecticut have long been a lure for artists and other creatives, able to claim the birthplace of the Impressionist movement in the United States. Connecticut can boast the locales of three artistic enclaves which shaped the nation’s cultural evolution and legacy: Cos Cob, Old Lyme, and Weir Farm in Wilton, CT. Nowhere does art and inspiration come together more powerfully than in the preserved spaces these artists called home. Ms. Balint will discuss historic preserved and lost homes of artists throughout New England, placing them in the context of homes throughout the country, as part of the Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This is program of 44 preserved artist sites throughout the country all open as public museums, and the topic of a newly released guidebook by Balint. Join us on a virtual journey to learn the historic significance of these places where some of the nation’s most acclaimed artworks were created, and how these public sites continue to inspire visitors today.
Valerie Balint is the Senior Program Manager for Historic Artist’s Homes and Studios (HAHS), a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which is administered at Chesterwood (the former home and studio of sculptor Daniel Chester French) and the author of the newly released Guide to Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios (Princeton Architectural Press, June 2020). HAHS is a nation-wide consortium of 44-member sites, that were the home and working studios of American artists. Prior to heading HAHS in beginning in spring 2017, Ms. Balint served for seventeen years on the curatorial staff at Frederic Church’s Olana (also a HAHS site), most recently as Interim Director of Collections and Research. She was co-organizer and co-curator of Olana’s annual exhibitions and accompanying publications. She is a frequent lecturer and writer on preserved artists’ spaces, Frederic Church, the Hudson River School, and American art and social history of the mid-19th and early 20th century. She is co-author of Glories of the Hudson: Frederic Church’s Views from Olana (Cornell Press, 2009). Her previous work also includes curatorial positions at Chesterwood and the Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio (also a HAHS site). She served as the New York State Coordinator of “Save Outdoor Sculpture,” a program of the Smithsonian American Art Museum to document all public sculpture in the United States. Balint is a longtime advocate for recognizing and valuing the important place artists’ homes and public art hold within the greater context of cultural history in America.
Presented as part of the WINter WIN festival, for more information on this and other events please visit: weekendinnorfolk.org.