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The Austin House – with the Wadsworth Museum
March 15 @ 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Art historians Carol Urick and Ernesto Gutierrez-Miravete present a live tour of the Austin House
Virtually visit this National Historic Landmark from the comfort of your own home!
The Austin House, a National Historic Landmark, is the largest object of the Wadsworth Atheneum’s collection and is the former West End home of the legendary and innovative A. Everett “Chick” Austin, Jr., the museum’s director from 1927 to 1944.
On a quiet street, just beyond the bustle of downtown Hartford, the Austin House reflects an amalgam of historic and modern artistic trends. Luminary director of the Wadsworth Atheneum in the 1920s and 1930s, Chick Austin designed his home as a modern stage for art, entertaining and family. Step back in time on a virtual tour of the notable design features outside and within this historic home.
Located two miles from the museum in Hartford’s West End, the home was modeled on a grand 16th-century villa near Venice, which Chick and his wife Helen Goodwin Austin had seen on their wedding trip in 1929, the house is 86 feet wide and a mere 18 feet deep. Inside, the first floor is decorated in the 18th-century Rococo style, with silk-covered walls, gilded and painted furniture and a spectacular Bavarian alcove. A few steps lead from the entry hall down to the living room in one direction, and the dining room in the other. Upstairs, Helen Austin’s dressing room proclaims a radically modern aesthetic. Featuring a black linoleum floor, walls of different colors, chromium light fixtures and tubular steel furniture, it is one of the first International Style interiors in America.
In the 1930s the Austin House was a gathering place for leaders of the international art world, where Austin and Helen entertained guests, including Salvador Dali, Alexander Calder, Gertrude Stein, George Balanchine, Le Corbusier, Cecil Beaton, Martha Graham, Agnes de Mille, Aaron Copland and Virgil Thomson.
Tours of the Austin House are canceled until further notice, so this is your chance to see the unique architecture and design.
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