Denison Homestead to hold en plein air painting event this weekend
Mystic — The Denison Homestead Museum will host an event this weekend that is expected to attract 20 en plein air artists who will paint the historic home on Pequotsepos Road, its barns, fields and rock formations.
The artists will begin painting late Saturday morning and finish about 3 p.m. On Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m., the homestead will hold a champagne reception for people to view and buy the paintings created by artists organized by Stonington borough artist Howard Park.
Museum Curator Penny Havard said that the last time an en plein air event was held at the homestead was back in the 1930s, when owner Penny Gates sponsored them. A small exhibit at the museum features paintings and sketches done at that time.
Havard said that in the midst of her research about the homestead, which dates back to 1717, she became very interested in Gates. She said Gates was widowed in 1923 after just three years of marriage. But she said Gates went on to become a founding member of the Mystic Garden Club and a patron of the Mystic artist’s colony, which attracted major impressionist painters. She died in New York City in 1941.
“We thought this would be a nice way to honor her,” said Havard, adding the museum also is recreating her extensive gardens on the west lawn.
Havard said the museum is planning its second annual recreation of King Phillip’s War on Sept. 29 and 30, which will feature Native American and colonial re-enactors staging battles and camping on the museum grounds. She said details of that weekend’s events still are being finalized but likely will include a seminar and speaker. The 14-month war in what is now New England between colonists and their Native American allies and other tribes began in 1675.
“No one else is doing this, telling the story from this period,” she said.
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