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.
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.
Special events and programs are offered for children and adults throughout the season. During the summer months at Chesterwood, an annual outdoor contemporary sculpture show is featured on the grounds by emerging and established regional and national artists. More than 600 sculptors have exhibited at Chesterwood since 1978.
Chesterwood is owned and operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
National Trust for Historic Preservation Member Discount
NTHP individual adult members receive 50% off regular admission as well as children 13 - 18 years of old. Free admission for children under 13. Discount does not apply to special events and programs at the Site and cannot be combined with other offers. Please note that public tours are self-guided unless a group of 10 or more people make previous arrangements for a guided tour.
To receive discount, valid membership card must be presented at time of visit. Please contact site directly to ensure that discount is available on date of planned visit and for specific tour desired.
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