Prominent Painter’s Home Granted Historic Status

New York’s State Historic Preservation Office announced last week that they have added painter George Bellows’ home in Woodstock to New York’s State Register of Historic Places. The artist’s residence is also being considered for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

The two-story frame house was designed by Bellows himself and is featured in many of his paintings. He constructed the house with enormous bay windows and a solid sandstone foundation. Located only minutes from downtown Woodstock, the home is situated on Bellows Lane. Bellows lived in the house from 1922 until his death in 1925.

Bellows is best known for his realist depictions of city life as part of the Ashcan School of modern art. However, his country home greatly influenced his later work. In the latter part of his career, Bellows painted landscapes with fields and lakes and found inspiration in the Catskill Mountains surrounding Woodstock. His more recent work has become more well known in the 21st century. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Georgia Museum of Art, Chicago’s Terra Museum and the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, New York have all hosted exhibitions showcasing his Woodstock paintings.

George Bellows was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1882. He moved to New York City in 1904 and studied art under Robert Henri, a pioneer of American realism. In 1909, Bellows painted his most famous work, Stag at Sharkey’s, a modernist depiction of a prize fight. He also later immortalized the overflowing tenements of the Lower East Side with his 1913 painting, Cliff Dwellers.

When Bellows arrived at Woodstock in the summer of 1920, he found a burgeoning community of nonconformist artists. He joined the Woodstock Artists Association and soon became one of its most prominent members. During his time in Woodstock, Bellows immersed himself in his craft along with other well-known artists like portraitist Eugene Speicher and landscape painter Charles Rosen. Bellows divided his time between the country home and a residence in New York City. In 1925, his career was cut short when he died from peritonitis after failing to seek treatment for a ruptured appendix.

As part of the state’s Register of Historic Places, Bellows’ former home may be subject to protection from development. Woodstock’s Town Board hopes that the the National Park Service will make a final decision sometime next year regarding the house’s proposed addition to the National Register of Historic Places.

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