Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hill-Stead Museum

Theodate Pope was an architect at a time when few women had careers and even fewer were architects.  Working with the prominent architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White, she oversaw the building of Hill-Stead, this beautiful house on 250 acres in Farmington, Connecticut.  It was originally a retirement home for her wealthy, art collector parents.  Later Ms. Pope and her husband lived there.

When Theodate Pope died in 1946, her will provided that the house should become a museum, maintained forever exactly as it had been when she lived there.

The house displays four Monet and three Degas paintings, as well as Mary Cassatt, Manet and other valuable paintings, just as they had been displayed while Ms. Pope and her parents lived there.

9 comments:

Sharon said...

I'll have add this place to my list of places to visit one day.

cieldequimper said...

What women can do! :-)) It's beautiful and the contents sound like a real treat.

But what a name. Theodate? Really?

Jacob said...

That is a very religious name, especially for a woman: Theo meaning god; date I dunno; and pope for - well, you know who, who isn't and probably won't ever be a woman.

Maybe that's why she became an architect? And a darn good one, too, if this house is an example of her work. Just a "retirement" home, huh?

Have you been inside?

Halcyon said...

It's a very pretty building! I like your framing in this shot.

Tash said...

Theo sounds like a fascinating woman. Thanks for leading us to her & her excellent work.
From Wiki: "Theodate Pope Riddle (February 2, 1867- August 30, 1946) was an American architect. She was one of the first American women architects as well as a survivor of the Lusitania...When Effie was 19, she changed her name to Theodate in honor of her grandmother Theodate Stackpole."
Very cool about the art collection. I could swear that I just saw the Monet "Grainstacks" at the Getty :) ... He was a clever man to paint so many -- one for each rich patron he knew?
Fun to know you had PV ties. I found CDP by looking up Tuzla DP (where I grew up) and then decided to do PVDP.

Lynette said...

Great photo and post, Jack. I was tickled to see that Theodate Pope worked with those architects because one of my favorite Portland architects, A. E. Doyle, worked with them. I found a great photo of her here, as well as all sorts of blueprints and photos of the house and other buildings it seems she designed and/or built.

Randy said...

Beautiful home but I would love to see that impressive art collection.

Jacob said...

Hi Jack! Real Monets, eh? Well, the rich really are different. The next time you visit, give me a call and I'll go with you. OK?

Birdman said...

What a view... a grand old home.