Macdowell art colony


Located at Peterborough, New Hampshire, it was at Hillcrest, the home of Marian and Edward MacDowell. Edward MacDowell was a composer, who died from a nervous disorder from stress. Aware that he was dying, his wife commissioned Helne Farnsworth Mears to do a bas-relief portrait of her husband in 1906, and while Mears worked the couple planned the creation of an art colony on their property. Intended to be a retreat for people in all the arts, it became a place where writers, poets, artists and musicians could work quietly for long periods of time surrounded by quiet natural surroundings. It was also a memorial to Edward MacDowell. Underlying Marian MacDowell's special interest in the retreat was her attribution of her husband's health problems to the noise and tensions of the city, New York, where he had spent so much of his career. In 1907, Helen Farnsworth Mears, and her sister, Mary, became the first recipients of a MacDowell Fellowship. Other artists who have been awarded the Fellowship include Charlotte Blass, Paul Burlin, Lawrence Calcagno, Raymond Jonson, Nan Sheets, John Raimondi and Helen Wilson. Sources: AskART database; Charlotte Rubinstein, "American Women Artists", p. 102