Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
MacDowell had concluded, from experience including his involvement in founding the American Academy in Rome (the benefactor of American Prix de Rome awards) that interdisciplinary associations among artists were valuable. The MacDowells bought a farm in Peterborough in 1896, where he judged the surroundings during summers to enhance his creativity as a composer of music. They formulated a plan for providing both kinds of benefits through an institutionalized residential art colony, and in 1906 raised funds for the purpose, contributed by former U.S. President Grover Cleveland, industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, the financier J. P. Morgan, and other prominent people.
The first residents came the next year,and the program continues in dozens of buildings scattered over 450 acres (1.8 km²) of land. At least 61 Pulitzer Prizes have been received by the roughly 5,100 artists who have been in residence at one time or another.
Stays average four to five weeks and are limited to two months. Room and board are free, and some residents receive help with travel expenses as well. Each artist is assigned one of 32 studios for their personal use on a 24-hour-a-day basis; each of these is a separate building with power, heat, simple amenities, lunch delivered, no telephone, and the expectation that interruptions will be by invitation only. In nearly every case, the studios are out of view of each other.
The artists are a community of between 20 and 30, sharing breakfast and dinner in a common dining room, and frequently engaging in group activities in the evenings.
Notable colony-created works
At the colony:
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