THE STUDIO AT CHESTERWOOD

Each year, over four million visitors make the pilgrimage to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. They walk along the reflecting pool and up a great flight of stairs into an immense temple. There, they confront an enormous seated marble figure who radiates dignity and wisdom.
— chesterwood.org
 lincoln's hand - plaster study for lincoln memorial

lincoln's hand - plaster study for lincoln memorial

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 is a special place of creativity and inspiration, and I hope visitors to this historic retreat of one of America’s foremost public sculptors, will take some time to look, listen and enjoy its beauty in both the art and the natural surroundings.
— Donna Hassler, Executive Director, Chesterwood
 early plaster model for lincoln memorial

early plaster model for lincoln memorial

CHESTERWOOD | 4 Williamsville Road | Stockbridge, MA 01262 | 413.298.3579 | chesterwood.org