Last week I was lucky enough to teach a landscape course at Weir Farm in Wilton, CT. Besides being a beautiful national park it was also the summer home of Julian Alden Weir- a fine painter, a founding member of ‘The Ten’, and in his day, a very popular guy.
Here’s a Weir.
Seems every book you pick up on American painters of his generation talk about their friendship with Weir- sometimes mentioning that he was too social and should paint more. Twachtman and Weir were so close he named his son J Alden Twachtman.
Here’s John Sargent hanging out with Weir
The restoration of the property is nearing completion- Weir’s studio opened to the public for the first time on July 4th this year, and Weir’s son-in-law Mahonri Young‘s studio next door has been open to visitors for some time.
Weir’s studio on the left, Young’s on the right.
It was a great location for the course, even with spotty New England weather somehow we didn’t get rained out. The park rangers give organized tours of the studios a few days a week, so we were able to see them as they were.
The park ranger giving the tour of the grounds
Weir’s studio was filled with his paint boxes, palettes, brushes and casts
The Young studio had one of the most amazing light wells, incredible studio.
All in all, it was sort of a perfect location to run a landscape course- besides having interesting views, rock dry walls and architecture, being able to take a break from painting to see some of the spaces, it was just very inspiring to be surrounded by Weir’s things. Beautiful location, and you can only imagine the visitors that had come to the farm over the years.
For artists interested, they run a continuing artist in residence program, where they give you room, board and studio on the grounds for a month (though sadly, not in Weir or Young’s studio).