Members of the HSW Board and Advisory Council write about their favorite pieces from the collection.
Arnold Blanch, Hervey White in His Studio, c. 1926
This seminal Woodstock portrait of Hervey White, founder of the Byrdcliffe and Maverick art colonies, was painted in about 1926. The work was originally acquired in September 1929 by the Whitney Studio Galleries in New York, and entered the Whitney Museum of American Art’s collection upon its formation in 1931. In 1953, Blanch was personally involved in exchanging this work for his 1951 canvas Four Ships. Shortly after Blanch’s death in 1968 his former partner, the artist Doris Lee, donated the painting to the Historical Society of Woodstock.
In 1921, Arnold and his artist wife Lucile attended the Art Student League in New York’s summer school in Woodstock, studying landscape painting with Charles Rosen. Two years later they joined several of their former classmates at the Minneapolis School of Fine Art at the Maverick art colony in West Hurley after White invited them to become long-term residents, and built them a home as well as a separate studio for Arnold.
Hervey White is pictured seated on the couch in his still existing cottage on what is today Maverick Road. He named the cabin Bearcamp for the Bearcamp River in Chicaurua, New Hampshire. This was his principal residence from the time of the founding of the Maverick in 1905 through the early 1940s. In West Hurley, White wrote novels, produced the Maverick Festival, published and entertained, among other pursuits. He offered houses to kindred spirits, such as Arnold and Lucile Blanch, who paid modest rents when they were able to. White built the simple rustic cottages with his own limited funds, and at times with his own hands. After serving in the United States Army from 1941-1943, the sculptor Raoul Hague moved into friend White’s former cabin, where he resided and worked for nearly fifty years.
S.S. Sea Horse
The Sea Horse sign is emblematic of the legendary bar where beats and hippies from Greenwich Village partied with the artists, plumbers, carpenters, actors and free thinkers of Woodstock. The “Horse” was the social heart of Woodstock from the early 1940s until 1962, when the owner, Navy veteran Dick Stillwell, died behind the bar and was laid to rest on the ping-pong table.
Olivia (Tinker) Twine
Moses Shultis' Tin Horn
2014 Bicentennial Quilt
Woodstock Playhouse Program from 1975
The Woodstock Playhouse grew from the vision of Robert Elwyn, a descendent of one of Woodstock’s oldest families. Elwyn emerged from his work as an actor, director and theater manager at the Maverick Theater as an independent visionary. With Overlook Mountain as backdrop, Elwyn in the spring of 1938 began to construct a theater. Unique in its inception, both inside and out, construction was completed in just 48 days, permitting the opening of 'Yes, My Darling Daughter' on June 30, 1938.
Christmas Card by Karl Fortess