Fallingwater by five years. It has been the home of Winterhouse since 1998, and is now for sale."/>

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Posted 07.06.11 | PERMALINK | PRINT

Advertisement

For Sale: The Earliest Modern Studio in America



Photograph by Albert Vecerka, 2006

In 1931, a young American artist designed and built himself a modern studio on a mountaintop in the Berkshires in Northwest Connecticut: it would be one of the first modern houses in America, pre-dating Frank Lloyd’s Fallingwater by five years. It has been the home of Winterhouse since 1998, and is now for sale.

Born in Michigan in 1886, Ezra Winter studied at the Chicago Institute of Fine Arts, and won the Prix de Rome in 1911. He spent the next few years in residence at the American Academy in Rome, returning to the United States after the First World War. Winter went on to receive a number of prestigious commissions, including the Cunard Building in New York, the North and South Reading Rooms at the Library of Congress, and the monumental stairway mural at Radio City Music Hall. 

Working with a local builder in the early 1930s, Winter designed a modernist home and studio for himself in rural Connecticut where he lived and worked until his death in 1949. Later, it became the summer studio for the Lathrop sisters — Dorothy, an illustrator, who won the first Caldecott medal in 1938, and Gertrude, a metal sculptor who studied at the New York Art Students League with Gutzon Borglum — the artist perhaps best known for creating the presidents’ heads on Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

The studio was renovated by Winterhouse in 1998 with architectural design by Michael Morris and Yoshiko Sato (Morris|Sato Studio). The house was subsequently renovated with design by Claire Weisz and Mark Yoes (WXY Studio). The landscape plan is by Rick Worcester (Worcester + Worcester). The architecture has been published in Dwell and Bob: International Magazine of Space Design (Korea), and was a "Home of the Year" prize winner in Architecture magazine in 2002.

Interested parties may inquire for more information by sending email to: designobserver@winterhouse.com.












All photographs by Albert Vecerka, 2006
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Jessica Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer, is an award-winning graphic designer and writer and a former contributing editor and columnist for Print, Communications Arts and Eye magazines. A member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale and a recent laureate of the Art Director's Hall of Fame, Helfand received her B.A. and her M.F.A. from Yale University where she has taught since 1994.
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William Drenttel is a designer and publisher, and editorial director of Design Observer. He is a partner at Winterhouse, a design consultancy focused on social change, online media and educational institutions, and a senior faculty fellow at the Yale School of Management.
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DESIGN OBSERVER JOBS









BOOKS BY Jessica Helfand

Scrapbooks: An American History
Yale University Press, 2008

Reinventing the Wheel
Winterhouse Editions, 2002

Screen: Essays on Graphic Design, New Media, and Visual Culture
Winterhouse Editions, 2001

Looking Closer 3
Allworth Press, 1999

Paul Rand: American Modernist
winterhouse Editions, 1998

More books by contributors >>