Historic Artists' Homes and Studios Program Names Seven New Sites Celebrating Diversity in Artistic Legacy

STOCKBRIDGE, (MA) — The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced that seven new sites have been accepted into their prestigious Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios (HAHS) program. All seven sites are the preserved homes and studios of American artists that represent the rich diversity of our nation’s artistic legacy and provide a site-specific depiction of art history.

The sites selected demonstrate the active work of HAHS and its leadership to expand and diversify representation within its membership. This includes identifying and accepting more sites representing the legacy of women, artists of color, Indigenous artists, LGBTQ+ artists, as well as self-taught artists. This commitment to diversity also requires a re-examination of the boundaries created by traditional definitions of a home or studio, to include artists, cultures and practices that do not fit into those paradigms. To advance that goal this year, HAHS has accepted, for the first-time, artist-built vernacular environments into the program.

Two of these sites, Pasaquan in Georgia, and the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Desert Art Museum of Assemblage Sculpture in California, will have their annual membership dues supported through a generous donation by the Kohler Foundation, a leader in the preservation of artist-built environments and a champion for self-taught artists.

“These sites preserve the complex stories of a wide array of artists, whose working methods, chosen media and personal narratives often included social activism and beautifully illustrate the sheer diversity of human expression through the universal language of art,” said HAHS Senior Program Manager, Valerie Balint. “We are delighted to have them join this peer group of dynamic and innovative sites throughout the country.”

“By giving equal agency to stories that range from world-renowned illustrator and cultural icon Norman Rockwell to largely self-taught artists, such as Robert Dash, HAHS and the National Trust are helping reframe the hierarchy and dialogue around our nation’s art history,” adds Rena B. Zurofsky, Interim Vice President for Historic Sites at the National Trust. “With the inclusion of African American artists, such as Noah Purifoy and James Washington; LGBTQ+ activists, such as Eddie Owens Martin (also known St. EOM); and women artists, such as Adelia Armstrong Lutz and Ginny Soldner, we continue to expand the membership to bring on sites whose compelling stories increase racial diversity and gender equity.”

The introduction of these seven new sites also increases the geographic representation of HAHS to include 25 states in the nation and expands the portfolio of twentieth-century sites within the network, creating a rich and balanced representation of nineteenth-century artist spaces. Photographic assets are available for reporters by following this link.

The seven new members of HAHS are:

Westwood, the home and studio of painter and educator, Adelia Armstrong Lutz (1859–1931) in Knoxville, TN, operated by Knox Heritage;
Outdoor Desert Art Museum of Assemblage Sculpture the sprawling artist-designed environment created by Noah Purifoy (1917–2004) in Joshua Tree, CA, stewarded by the Noah Purifoy Foundation;
James W. Washington Home, a holistic campus that includes the home, studio, and artist-designed landscape of artist, sculptural carver, author, and activist, James W. Washington, Jr. (1908–2000) in Seattle, WA, operated by the Dr. James and Mrs. Janie Rogella Washington Cultural Center and Foundation;
Norman Rockwell Studio at the Norman Rockwell Museum, the final studio space for iconic illustrator, Norman Rockwell (1894–1978) in Stockbridge, MA;
Soldner Center for the Arts and Innovation, the former artist-designed compound and artistic enclave created by environmentally conscious educators and artists, ceramicist Paul (1921–2011) and painter Ginny Soldner (1924–1995) in Aspen, CO, stewarded by their daughter, Stephanie Soldner;
Pasaquan, the immersive and multi-culturally inspired artist environment of self-taught artist and LGBTQ+ activist Eddie Owens Martin (St. EOM) (1908–1986) in Buena Vista, GA operated by Columbus State University and the Pasaquan Preservation Society, and;
Madoo Conservancy the home, studio, and extensive artist-designed gardens, of artist, poet and gardener, Robert Dash (1931–2013) on the East End of Long Island in Sagaponack, NY.

“The staff, board of directors, and volunteers of Westwood are truly grateful for the inclusion into the Historic Artists’ Home and Studios network,” said Hollie Cook, Director of Education and Research at Knox Heritage and Historic Westwood. “We are incredibly excited to share the life and work of artist Adelia Armstrong Lutz and her grand studio and gallery, which is the crown jewel of her home, Westwood.”

“Not only do I speak for myself,” said Rev. Dr. LaVerne C. Hall, Executive Director of the Dr. James & Mrs. Janie Rogella Washington Cultural Center and Foundation, which stewards the James W. Washington Home, “but also for each member of the Foundation, and all the lives that have been touched by their legacy thus far. We are delighted on becoming a member of the Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios network. Membership in this prestigious organization represents the gateway for The Washington Foundation to have an epoch-making voice in sharing the collective imperatives of the Washingtons’ Last Will and Testament, born out of their hindsight, insight, and foresight— preservation, interpretation, scholarship, presentation, and self-introspection. The two of them, James, and Janie, both individually and collectively, through this membership, now have the opportunity of becoming into the full breadth of their lives and legacy, as opposed to becoming a footnote in the annals of time. Thanks so very much for the opportunity, to speak together.”

“It is truly an honor to be included in the historically important and vital HAHS community, said Joseph S. Lewis, President of the Noah Purifoy Foundation, “and look forward to the wider recognition of Noah Purifoy that this will bring. One of our key missions as a Foundation is to conserve and maintain Noah’s Outdoor Sculpture Museum (Noah’s 10-acre studio) and are very excited to join an organization which understands and promotes the historical significance of artist’s creative spaces.”

“The Pasaquan Preservation Society, and Columbus State University, are honored to have St. EOM’s Pasaquan accepted into the Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios network,” said Michael McFalls, Director of Pasaquan and Professor of Art at Columbus State University. “We see this as an opportunity to share the story and artwork of the self-taught visionary artist Eddie Owens Martin. The preservation of his art environment ensures his utopian vision of a better world – a place where all races, sexes, and religions live in harmony – is shared for generations to come.”

“The Norman Rockwell Museum is honored to include Rockwell’s Stockbridge Studio in this collective of important historic buildings,” said Laurie Norton Moffatt, museum director and CEO, “that helps to protect our community assets for future generations. It is wonderful that these buildings are recognized for transcending their time and are placed in context with the current moment. We look forward to learning from the members of Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios, the many and varied ways that artist studios are being interpreted and shared with the public.”

“At the Madoo Conservancy,” said Alejandro Saralegui, Executive Director, “we are proud to preserve and enhance the renown gardens, historic structures, and interiors first established in the late 1960s by the artist, poet and gardener Robert Dash. Madoo represents a way of life in the Hamptons that is quickly disappearing and deserves to be better known. We are privileged to share this magical treasure with an ever-growing community of supporters, and now, through our new relationship with Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios.”

“It is an honor and very exciting to be joining HAHS and in the company of many outstanding artists homes and studios,” said Stephanie Soldner, Executive Director of the Soldner Center for the Arts and Innovation. “HAHS offers a network of diverse sites who share common values, including dedication to the creative arts, history, preservation and sharing the stories of people who have impacted our country and the world in numerous beneficial ways. Member sites encourage people to not only enjoy and learn from their visits, but to then explore their own dreams and potential in the world. HAHS and the Soldner Center are focused on a common goal: “Honoring the past, creating the future”.

Also notable in coming weeks, Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios and the National Trust for Historic Preservation will launch a new category of site membership for the first time since the program began in 1999. This new category will create an Affiliate Membership that will broaden pathways for entrance into the program for sites that may not follow traditional models of operation, interpretation, or visitation. The selection of members in this new category will be conducted through an “Open Call” process which will launch later this spring. Please stay tuned for future announcements about this initiative and see www.artisthomes.org for more details.

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