ChesterwoodA Distinctive Destination
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A National Trust Historic Site, Chesterwood is the summer home, studio and gardens of America’s most distinguished sculptor of public monuments, Daniel Chester French (1850-1931). During his career, French created more than 100 public sculptures, many of which were modeled in his impressive Studio at Chesterwood designed in 1897 by Henry Bacon, the architect of the Lincoln Memorial. The nation’s most treasured icons include French’s monumental sculpture of the Minute Man in Concord, Massachusetts and the seated figure of Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Many of French’s plaster sketches, including models of Abraham Lincoln, are on view at Chesterwood.
Chesterwood is owned and operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It is also a home of the Historic Artists' Home and Studio (HAHS) program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Chesterwood is open weekends only in October from 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. For October and other special events, please visit the website.
While French was initially attracted by the beauty of the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts, the view of Monument Mountain, in particular, became a primary focus for the location of his Studio and Residence as well as the landscape at Chesterwood. In 1900, architect Henry Bacon completed his design for the Residence, which complimented the Studio in its stucco-clad exterior reminiscent of Italianate villas in a modern Colonial-revival style.
A talented landscape designer, French transformed the agrarian landscape, to suit his professional, social and utilitarian purposes, creating formal English gardens and woodland walks throughout the property. The artist and his family lived in Stockbridge from May through October for more than three decades. Margaret French Cresson, the daughter of the sculptor, donated Chesterwood to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1968.
Benefits for National Trust Members
50% Off Regular Admission; Free Admission for Children Under 13
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The National Trust's African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund has awarded $3 million in grants to 40 places preserving Black history.See the List