Daniel Chester French (1850 - 1931) (sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial) created Chesterwood - his summer home in the Berkshires, and today it is a space showcasing his sculpture. The grounds are wooded and gracefully maintained, with a contemporary glass sculpture exhibit this summer (2016) including the work of twelve artists on the lawns and in the woods.
To walk inside the Studio, on the grounds of Chesterwood near the house, is breathtaking. The photographs below document the formal and informal pleasures of plaster that French indulged in - from studies for his monuments to elements and models of inspiration.
When he purchased the property in Glendale, a hamlet of Stockbridge, in 1896, the first building French completed was his Studio (on the foundation of a former barn that he dismantled and moved up the hill), which was designed by Henry Bacon, the architect of the Lincoln Memorial. It was the breathtaking view of Monument Mountain, seen from the Studio Piazza that inspired French’s creativity and inspiration, while working in the Berkshires from May through October until his death at Chesterwood in 1931. The final 6 foot plaster model of Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial (dated October 1916) can be seen up close in the Studio as well as plaster models that were studies for his monuments.
CHESTERWOOD | 4 Williamsville Road | Stockbridge, MA 01262 | 413.298.3579 | chesterwood.org