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Map 1: Northeastern United States.[Map 1] with link to larger version of map.

In the late 19th century, New York City was the unofficial capital of the nation's art world, but artists often spent their summers away from the city. Daniel Chester French's permanent home and studio had been in New York City since 1888. In 1891 and 1893, French and his wife rented a summer house in Cornish, New Hampshire, an artist's colony created by noted sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens. They soon began a search for a place of their own. In 1895 they toured the Housatonic River Valley in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts and visited the town of Stockbridge. In the decades following the Civil War, wealthy and cultivated men and women from Boston and New York had discovered Stockbridge as a place to spend leisurely summers in their large, comfortable "cottages." The following summer, French bought a farm located a few miles from town and began to convert it into the estate he named "Chesterwood" after the French family's hometown of Chester, New Hampshire.


Questions for Map 1

1. Locate New York City and Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Considering the time period, how do you think French would have traveled between these two places each year?

2. Based on the map, how would you describe the location of Stockbridge? Why might wealthy people from Boston and New York City have wanted to spend their summers here? Why might the area have appealed to French as an artist?

* The map on this screen has a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a larger version of Map 1, but be aware that the file may take as much as 10 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.

 

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