Westport Historical Society to hold holiday house tour
Published 5:09 pm, Thursday, November 15, 2012
In a salute to the town's history as an artists' colony, the tour will entail visits to holiday-decorated homes of five quite different Westport artists, according to a news release. Docents will greet and guide ticketholders through the homes as the artists discuss their work and collections, as well as found objects and prized tree ornaments.
Adams Academy, a 19th-century one-room schoolhouse at 15 Morningside Ave. North, also will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Following the tours, a twilight soiree wine-tasting and silent auction with hors d'oeuvres and live music will take place from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the expanded 1790 farmhouse of a sixth artist for attendees with an additional ticket.
Taking place snow or shine, the tour will exhibit an array of architectural and interior design tastes, styles and vintages, ranging from pre-Revolution to today, and varying in size and style from expanded saltbox to Colonial Revival manor to log lodge to late 20th-century modernist.
Houses to be visited on the tour include:
Nestled on a north-facing hillside with a sculpture garden and brook views from the dining room and deck, this 1986 modernist homestead's 2006 renovation is a melding of geometric and industrial form with family, social and studio function, according to a news release. Natural light, reflective metals and earth-toned wood and stone provide neutral background to the artist's exuberant and richly-hued multi-media assemblages.
The Eliphalet Sturges saltbox farmhouse, a Westport landmark, saw 2,000 British troops march by in the Revolution and, in 1908, welcomed George Hand Wright, one of the first artists to buy an abandoned Westport farm and help establish the town's artist colony. The current owner, Wright's godson, preserves the legacy of the "Dean of Westport Artists" -- a painter, illustrator, printmaker and a National Academy of Design honoree.
Originally an 1806 farmhouse on 250 acres owned by Morris Ketchum, then expanded in 1957 as a Colonial revival manor, the residence also has a three-car garage, carriage house and studio. The owners, a concert pianist and an artist, celebrate the ornate interior millwork, wall coverings and scale with temporary and permanent collections of art and found objects.
The artist has filled her custom 1970 home and studio on the Saugatuck River with a variety of artwork by herself and others, including family and students. It exhibits technical proficiency in representational drawing and painting to mastery of abstract painting and sculptural forms.
This European-style log hunting lodge was built by a Swedish woman in 1914 on the Saugatuck River ford crossed by 2,000 British troops in 1777. The first owner was Arthur Dolge, the embalming fluid manufacturer, followed by the Fairfield County Hunt Club. It was later owned by Broadway producer Philip Dunning and Jackie Gleason's manager, Herb Rosenthal. Since 1976, it has been home to an interior designer and her family.
At each tour home to protect the floors and carpets, visitors will be given a shoe bag and asked to remove and carry their shoes as they walk through the rooms. Photography inside the homes or children under 12 will not be permitted.
Advance tickets are $50, $40 for society members. Tickets are $55 on the day of the event. Separate tickets for the twilight soiree are $50 each.
All proceeds will benefit the society.
Ticket forms are available at the Westport Historical Society, 25 Avery Place, or at www.westporthistory.org.
Tour-goers may pick up their tickets at the society from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, to Sunday, Dec. 2. No tickets will be mailed and all sales are final.
For more information, call 203-222-1424 or visit www.westporthistory.org.