The Entrance off High Street
View From the Street
The Moss Path with Mountain Laurel
Archway with Climbing Hydrangea with View of the Boulder
One of the Stone Seats in the Enclosing Wall
Edward and Marian MacDowell Plaque on Edward's Boulder
The MacDowell Colony, the first American artist residency program, is about a quarter of a mile up my street. Along High Street, there is a sign marking the graves of founders Edward (1860-1908) and Marian MacDowell (1857-1956). The boulder on this site was a favorite place for Edward to sit and watch the sunset behind Mount Monadnock. Since the early twentieth century, pines, hemlocks and sugar maples have grown into a forest and have blocked the view and shaded the site.
Although the mountain laurels that line the path to the graves have declined due to the competition, the shade that the trees created enhance the mood and experience. I like the simplicity of the design and the use of local stone in the walls. This may have been the first time I had seen climbing hydrangea, Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris. That archway has inspired the arches in my own garden (see June 15 post below) which I had built in wrought iron in the spirit of the design at the gravesite.
The MacDowell Colony's grounds are open to the public once each year during Medal Day in August. This year, legendary playwright Edward Albee will receive Edward MacDowell Medal which has been given since 1960 to"an individual artist who has made an outstanding contribution to his/her field." Albee will be in Peterborough to accept the award on August 14th. Many of the 32 artist's studios will also be open with the resident artist on hand to discuss and display their work.