Gari Melchers Home and Studio is also known as Belmont is a National Historic Landmark. This historic house museum is located at 224 Washington St in Falmouth, VA. Popular American Artist Gari Melchers lived in the home from 1916 until his death in 1932. The home was given to the state of Virginia by Melcher’s widow. The home was then given to the University of Mary Washington to administer. The Gari Melchers Home was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965 to commemorate the artist’s role in bringing American art to the attention of European collectors.
Gari Melchers’s home and the studio are west of the center of Falmouth. It is 27 acres, roughly divided by County Road 1001, which provides access to the main house. The main house is a two-story wood frame structure. It has five bays wide on the front side, with an ell extending it to the left side and a sunroom that goes out to the right side. The oldest part of the house was built in the late 18th century. It got a lot of its present form when the Ficklen family owned it from 1825 to 1916. In 1916, Gari and Corinne Melchers bought it for $12,000. The stone studio and garage at the Melchers’ house were built before their time. Mrs. Melchers also built a summer house after her husband died. She gave the property to the state when she died, and it includes many things from inside the house that belonged to her and her husband.
Gari Melchers was a popular if not innovative painter. He was trained in Europe. He painted one painting that was accepted by the Salon of Paris, which is probably the most important art show of that time. Gari and Corinne Melchers moved to Belmont in 1916. His murals are at the Library of Congress, where he made paintings about war and peace. His work helped to increase interest in art here in America.
This home is not like most other historic homes in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It doesn’t have antiques that are from the same time as the house. It has things that Melchers collected, like European antiques and art. There are 1,600 different kinds of art, 500 paintings by Melchers himself. Other artists, he collected work too, and there are also sketches and studies by him!
Most artists of his generation wanted to go to Europe and get a good education. Melchers went and got a good education there. He had studios in Paris, Holland, and Germany. Artists of that time usually painted everyday life things like women or scenes from their homes. When he came back to the US, he did that too because the scenery here was beautiful. Premier paintings of this period are The Hunters, Nelson Berry’s Store, St. George’s Church, and Young Woman Sewing.
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