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“Art and history beautifully combined”
Review of Chesterwood Museum

Chesterwood Museum
Ranked #6 of 12 things to do in Stockbridge
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Summer retreat home and studio of Daniel Chester French, sculptor of the Minuteman Statue and the Lincoln Memorial.
Davidson, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
183 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“Art and history beautifully combined”
Reviewed June 15, 2013

There are many exhibits and attractions in the Stockbridge area to explore and enjoy but I have always found Chesterwood one of the most fascinating. Chesterwood was the country home, studio and gardens for David Chester French one of this countries most famous and prolific sculptures of the 20TH Century. Best known for his sculpture of Lincoln in The Lincoln Memorial, Mr French was responsible for many other important sculptures all over major US cities. Many of these pieces were begun or completed in the studio he had constructed on this property. Running through the interior of the studio are railroad ties so that he could take large pieces outside to check size and color especially if the piece was to be installed out doors. It is very worthwhile to take the guided tour of the house and studio and learn about this fascinating man's life and professional works. Seeing prototypes of Lincoln's hands, which were designed a few times before French was satisfied, always fascinates me. The very pastoral setting of the house and studio lends itself to the gardens that now hold yearly outdoor sculpture exhibits. It is a lovely spot on a summer day. The museum is open 10 to 5. It has been deemed an Historic Site of The National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank JMac28046
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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155 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Jaffrey, New Hampshire
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Daniel Chester French's Country Studio”
Reviewed June 11, 2013

The sculptor spent 6 months of every year at Chesterwood. If you're planning to visit in 2013,
why not delay until the summer of 2014, at which time French's Studio will once again be open (the Studio has just been closed for renovations). But even without a Studio tour, the site's guides make a visit worthwhile, as they explain French's working routines and then take
visitors inside of French's house.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Nan Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Renovating the Studio”
Reviewed May 28, 2013

Be warned - they are renovating Daniel Chester French's studio, which was a big disappointment. But, they now have the upstairs to his house open - which we had never seen before even though we have been there several times. That was neat.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Carolynreps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Egremont, Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“A Bit Disappointing”
Reviewed May 28, 2013

The historical significance is unquestioned. But the buildings and grounds themselves are underwhelming. The most interesting feature - the studio where he worked - is closed for renovations. Sigh!

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Richard A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tyringham
Level 6 Contributor
131 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“A rare jewel -- not to be missed”
Reviewed May 11, 2013

The home, studio & museum of Daniel Chester French prolific sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial in Wash., D.C, The studio is a treasure trove including the macquettes, his equipment and models of numerous creations as well as the 5 ft. railroad tracks he used to push statues outdoors for viewing and working on. The French family never threw out anything, cataloging into a book listing for each room in each building including even the blue prints for the English gardens and the fountain that he & Henry Bacon built as well as the menus for what was served and to whom, Nothing is missed right down to the history of the tree in the yard that was a gift of the previous owner to Mrs. French. Everything is real and had been a possession of the French family not something that was "what they might have had in that era" as so often is the case in many museums of this sort. Chesterwood is part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. As I live in the Berkshires, I have been many many times and ALWAYS make sure visitors go to Chesterwood. Chesterwood is open from May through October which are the months that the French family used the property as their summer home.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank sandrafarnham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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