Chesterwood, a National Trust Historic Site, is the country home, studio and gardens of America’s foremost sculptor of public monuments, Daniel Chester French (1850-1931), creator of the Minute Man and Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial.
Situated on 122 acres in the idyllic hamlet of Glendale near Stockbridge, Massachusetts, the property and its buildings were donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation by French’s only child, Margaret French Cresson (1889-1973). Inspired by the natural beauty of the Berkshire Hills, French purchased the former Marshall Warner farm in 1896. Each year, during the month of May, he left his permanent home and studio in New York for six months and moved with his family to Chesterwood, where he worked on over 200 public and private commissions. Many of French’s plaster sketches, including models of his Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial, are on view today in his Studio as well as in the permanent exhibit, Daniel Chester French: Sculpting an American Vision, in Barn Gallery. In 2010, visitors to Chesterwood are invited to explore An Artist’s Landscape, a self-guided tour of the beautiful formal gardens and woodland paths created by French himself.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation provides leadership, education, advocacy and resources to a national network of people, organizations and local communities committed to saving places, connecting us to our history and collectively shaping the future of America’s stories. For more information, please visit www.PreservationNation.org.
Chesterwood Also Hosts Chesterfest!
Chesterfest, a new Americana music festival, held at Chesterwood on Sunday evenings from July 19 through August 30, features a great selection of contemporary American music, from folk, bluegrass and country to rock, garage bands, psych-folk and punk. There might be some hip hop as well! Solo artists perform at 5:30 p.m., followed by bands at 6:30 p.m. Bring your friends and family, lawn chairs or blanket, and pack a picnic for memorable music nights at Chesterwood! The grounds open at 5 p.m.