Saturday, June 17, 2006

Rose Arbor at the Webb House

Rose Arbor
16x20, oil/panel
$500, unframed
Today I participated in an art sale, "Paint Connecticut's Heritage", to benefit the Webb- Deane -Stevens Museum. This 'museum" is really 3 colonial era homes built all in a row that are now preserved as museums. The Buttolph-Williams House another historic home is just around the corner. The Joseph Webb House is a 3 1/2 story center hall Georgian style house with a gambrel roof and was completed in 1752. It has the distinguished honor of having had Gen. George Washington and the Comte de Rochambeau as guests there while they planned the Yorktown campaign. The house also has a colonial revival style garden, where I painted today. The weather was overcast, the mosquitoes monumentally annoying and it began to rain as I finished up my painting. This put a damper on my painting session as well as the art sale which was held outside. The second house, the Silas Deane House is of a style more reminiscent of the Dutch West Indies or New York. It was completed in 1766. The owner Silas Deane served on the First Continental Congress. John Adams and George Washington were also guests at this home. The third house, the Isaac Stevens House is a more modest affair. Stevens had a leather business, and his home, completed in 1789, is a smaller center hall Georgian. It's size and layout is more in line with the home of a well off middle class merchant. The interior furnishings hint at the beginnings of the Victorian love of ornament that would come to dominate the next century. The final house, the Buttolph-Williams, built in 1720, is an extremely auestere affair, exhibiting the very conservative tastes of early Connecticut residents. This house is the setting for Elizabeth Speare's classic book, The Witch of Blackbird Pond. If you would like to learn more about these fascinating homes and the gardens you can find out more HERE.

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