Summer of Stockbridge: SO much to Celebrate!
50th Anniversaries for Chesterwood, Norman Rockwell Museum, And The Red Lion Inn
100th Anniversary of Austen Riggs Center
For nearly 300 years, Stockbridge has been a magnet for some of America’s most captivating and creative minds. Its charm, beauty and proximity to urban centers have helped establish it as a hub of tourism and culture, which defines our small town. This year we celebrate milestone anniversaries for 4 of the town’s most significant institutions: The Red Lion Inn, The Norman Rockwell Museum, Austen Riggs Center and Chesterwood. Learn more about the fascinating intersections between these organizations when you join us for the Summer of Stockbridge: A Season of Celebrations!
-The daughter of Daniel Chester French, Margaret French Cresson, was an accomplished sculptor in her own right; she was friends with Dr. Lawrence Kirby Lunt at Austen Riggs and sculpted his son, Larry, in 1924.
-In 1896 Daniel Chester French and wife Mary came to Stockbridge to look for a country home. They stayed at the Red Lion Inn and fell in love with Stockbridge.
-The Austen Riggs Alumni reunion was held at the Red Lion Inn in 1994.
-The Corner House was saved by Jane Fitzpatrick and the “Founding Mothers”, and the house evolved into the first Norman Rockwell Museum from 1969-1993. The Corner House was recently purchased by the Austen Riggs Center.
-Rockwell initially moved to Stockbridge in 1953 to be near the Austen Riggs Center, for his wife Mary’s treatment.
-Rockwell painted the Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge Firehouse and the Fitzpatricks, plus many other local residents including James Mower, long-time superintendent of the Austen Riggs Center, were his models, and several local scenes (Most notably Main Street at Christmas, when RLI was still closed during the winter months.)
-Rockwell developed a relationship with renowned psychoanalyst Erik Erikson; their professional relationship and friendship is explored in the Museum’s summer exhibition.
-Jack Fitzpatrick collected Rockwell signed prints and artist proofs, which are on view at the the Red Lion Inn.
-Rockwell painted several depictions of Abe Lincoln, including one with Daniel Chester French’s seated Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, featured during Rockwell’s Stockbridge years. French completed the 1916 plaster model for his Lincoln figure in his studio, which remains on view at Chesterwood, the artists’ home and studio in Stockbridge.
-Recognizing the role of the creative process as part of mental health, Joan Mowat Erikson introduced the Riggs Activity Program and Theatre 37 at the Riggs Lavender Door.
-There is correspondence between Margaret French Cresson and Norman Rockwell in the Chesterwood archives at Chapin Library, Williams College.
-In 1964, there was an exhibition on the work of Norman Rockwell at Chesterwood.
-Both the wife, Mary A. French, and daughter, Margaret French Cresson, of Daniel Chester French sought medical treatment from doctor’s at Austen Riggs, including Dr. Riggs himself.
For details on the Summer of Stockbridge Celebrations click on links below