MacDowell (Peterborough, N.H.)

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MacDowell is an artist's residency program in Peterborough, New Hampshire, United States, founded in 1907 by composer Edward MacDowell and his wife, pianist and philanthropist Marian MacDowell. Prior to July 2020, it was known as the MacDowell Colony (or simply "the Colony") but the Board of Directors voted to remove "Colony" from the name in an effort to remove "terminology with oppressive overtones".

After Edward MacDowell died in 1908, Marian MacDowell established the artists' residency program through a nonprofit association in honor of her husband, raising funds to transform her farm into a quiet retreat for creative artists to work. She led the organization for almost 25 years.

Over the years, an estimated 8,300 artists have been supported in residence with nearly 15,000 fellowships, including the winners of at least 86 Pulitzer Prizes, 31 National Book Awards, 30 Tony Awards, 32 MacArthur Fellowships, 15 Grammys, 8 Oscars, 828 Guggenheim Fellowships, and 107 Rome Prizes. The artists' residency program has accepted visual and interdisciplinary artists, architects, filmmakers, composers, playwrights, poets, and writers, both well-known and unknown. Since January 2020, Nell Painter has served as chair of MacDowell, the first woman to hold the position.

In 1896, pianist Marian MacDowell bought Hillcrest Farm in Peterborough, New Hampshire, as a summer residence for herself and her husband, composer Edward MacDowell. She had always been careful to give him a quiet room for his work. They found that the New Hampshire landscape enhanced his work of composing music.

The couple formulated a plan to provide an interdisciplinary experience in a nurturing landscape, by creating an institutionalized residential art colony in the area. In 1904, Edward MacDowell began to show signs of an illness that ended his composing and teaching career. He died in 1908.

In 1907, Marian MacDowell deeded their farm to the Edward MacDowell Association and founded the MacDowell Colony. The first guests arrived that year: sisters Helen Farnsworth Mears, a sculptor, and Mary Mears, a writer. Mears wrote about her time on site for The Craftsman in July 1909. MacDowell began by inviting applicants personally, but by the 1920s had consigned the admission process to a committee.

Marian and friends raised funds and found support from industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, former U.S. President Grover Cleveland, financier J. P. Morgan, other prominent people, as well as many others across the country. MacDowell said the most consistent support came from women's clubs and professional music sororities (see, for example, the MacDowell Club of New York). At the age of 50, MacDowell began lecturing to women's groups to raise funds, resumed her performing career, and became a noted interpreter of her husband's work.

Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge organized an effort in 1916 to build and name a studio at MacDowell in memory of her teacher Regina Watson. It was renovated in 1993 and became McDowell's first barrier-free studio that was accessible to everyone.

By 1918, 31 of Isabelle Sprague Smith's students funded the creation of the Isabelle D. Sprague Smith studio. Through the years more separate studios were built. The program continues in 32 studios scattered over 450 acres (1.8 km2) of land.

On March 13, 2020, the MacDowell shut in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak and sent artists and Fellows home. It was the first time the site had shut since the 1938 New England hurricane.

Every year, MacDowell presents the Edward MacDowell Medal to an artist who has made a significant cultural contribution. Residency at MacDowell is not a requirement. In 2019, the 60th Medal was awarded to a visual artist. Medal Day is one of the rare occasions when the site is open to the public. The ceremony includes a keynote speech, after which the artists open their studios to visitors.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Barry Faulkner papers, circa 1858-1973 Archives of American Art
referencedIn Beach, H. H. A., Mrs., 1867-1944. Letters of Amy Beach, 1917, 1922. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Chard Powers Smith papers, 1759-1978, 1910-1977 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Whitmore, George, 1945-1989. George Whitmore papers, 1959-1995 (bulk 1967-1989). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Photographs, 1896-1941, n.d. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Phyllis Chesler Papers, 1968-1990 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Edwin Arlington Robinson collection, 1896-1984. Houghton Library
referencedIn Faulkner, Barry, 1881-1966. Barry Faulkner papers, circa 1858-1973. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Grumbach, Doris. Doris Grumbach papers, 1938-2002. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn MacDowell Music Club (Green Bay, Wis.). MacDowell Music Club scrapbooks, 1934-2004. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Roger Hannay Papers, 1890-2006 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
referencedIn Papers, (inclusive), (bulk), 1893-1983, 1943-1983 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Rittenhouse, Jessie B. (Jessie Belle), 1869-1948. Papers of Jessie Belle Rittenhouse, 1902-1927. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Papers, 1884-1971 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn MacDowell Music Club (Green Bay, Wis.). MacDowell Music Club scrapbooks, 1934-2007. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Jordan, June, 1936-2002. Papers, (inclusive), (bulk), 1936-2002, 1954-2002 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Kalischer, Clemens, 1921-. Clemens Kalischer papers, ca.1946-1966. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Beals, Jessie Tarbox. Photographs, 1896-1941 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Schuman, William, 1910-1992. Papers and records, 1933-1986. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Papers, 1901-1961 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn MacDowell, Edward, 1860-1908. Edward and Marian MacDowell collection, 1861-1960 (bulk 1900-1956). Library of Congress
referencedIn Ranson, Nancy Sussman, 1905-. Nancy Sussman Ranson papers, 1925-1971. Archives of American Art
referencedIn William Schuman papers and records, 1933-1986 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
referencedIn Smith, Chard Powers, 1894-. Chard Powers Smith papers, 1759-1978 (bulk 1910-1977). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Cather, Willa, 1873-1947. [Letters, chiefly from Willa Cather to Louise Guerber, later Louise Burroughs]. Drew University Library, Rose Memorial Library
referencedIn MacDowell, Marian, 1857-1956. Marian MacDowell papers, 1876-1969 (bulk 1908-1938). Library of Congress
creatorOf MacDowell Colony Records, 1869-1970, (bulk 1945-1968) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Douglas, Laura Glenn, 1888-1962. Laura Glenn Douglas papers, 1899-1979. University of South Carolina, System Library Service, University Libraries
creatorOf MacDowell Colony. Correspondence : with Eugene Ormandy, 1971. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Anderson, Wallace Ludwig, 1917-,. Wallace Ludwig Anderson Edwin Arlington Robinson collection, 1896-1984. Houghton Library
referencedIn Guglielmi, Louis, 1906-1956. Louis Guglielmi papers, 1934-1959. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Manton, Robert W., 1894-1967. Edward MacDowell collection, 1880-1967. UNH Durham, Dimond Library
referencedIn George Whitmore papers, 1959-1995, 1967-1989 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Mary Howe papers, 1884-1972 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
creatorOf Papers, 1945-2001. University of Oklahoma, Bizzell Memorial Library
referencedIn Klement, Vera. Vera Klement papers, 1946-2001. Archives of American Art
referencedIn Heyward, Dorothy, 1890-1961. Papers, [ca. 1850]-1976 (bulk 1918-1961). South Carolina Historical Society
referencedIn Prestopino, Gregorio. Gregorio Prestopino papers, 1927-1968. Archives of American Art
referencedIn MacDowell Colony collection, 1932-1957. Arizona State University Libraries
referencedIn Ernst Bacon Collection, 1907-1990, (bulk 1930-1980) Library of Congress. Music Division
referencedIn Edith Konecky Papers MS 716., 1957-2011 Sophia Smith Collection
referencedIn Levin, Harry. Harry Levin Papers. 1920-1995. Houghton Library
referencedIn Sallie Bingham Papers, 1900-2011 and undated, (bulk 1940s-2011) David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn MacDowell Society of Evanston (Evanston, Ill.). Records, 1922-1973. Evanston Historical Society
referencedIn Malliol, William, 1932-1991. William Malliol papers, 1967-1986. Princeton University Library
referencedIn Wigglesworth, Frank, 1918-1996. The Frank Wigglesworth papers, 1895-1996. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Olsen, Tillie. Tillie Olsen papers, 1930-1990. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Douglas, Laura Glenn, 1888-1962. Papers, 1899-1979. South Carolina Newspaper Project
referencedIn Frame, Janet. Janet Frame papers, 1925-1990 (bulk 1969-1989). Pennsylvania State University Libraries
referencedIn Daniels, Mabel W. (Mabel Wheeler), 1878-1971. Papers, 1884-1971 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf MacDowell Colony (Peterborough, N.H.). Institutional file. Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
referencedIn Howe, Mary, 1882-1964. Mary Howe papers, 1884-1972. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Marian MacDowell Papers, 1876-1969, (bulk 1908-1938) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Sorosis Records, 1856-1972 Sophia Smith Collection
referencedIn Vladimir Ussachevsky Papers, 1932-1969 Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
referencedIn Vera Zorina papers, 1910-2001 (inclusive), 1933-2001 (bulk). Harvard Theater Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn Faulkner, Barry, 1881-1966. Barry Faulkner papers, 1900-1973. Archives of American Art
creatorOf MacDowell Colony (Peterborough, N.H.). MacDowell Colony (Peterborough, N.H.) records, 1869-1970 (bulk 1945-1968). Library of Congress
referencedIn Hocking, William Ernest, 1873-1966. William Ernest Hocking Papers, 1860-1979 Houghton Library
creatorOf MacDowell Colony. Correspondence with Theodore Dreiser, 1936. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Sorosis (New York, N.Y.). Records, 1856-1983. Smith College, Neilson Library
referencedIn Darlington Music Club (Darlington, S.C.). Records, 1921-1954. University of South Carolina, System Library Service, University Libraries
referencedIn Braithwaite, William Stanley, 1878-1962. Correspondence from New Hampshire poets, 1921-1928. UNH Durham, Dimond Library
referencedIn Photographs of Edwin Arlington Robinson, ca. 1870-1931. Houghton Library
referencedIn Murray, Pauli, 1910-1985. Papers: Series III, 1855-1985 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Belton, Don. Papers, ca. 1960-2009. Indiana University
referencedIn Frank Wigglesworth papers, 1895-1996 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
referencedIn Schwab, Arnold T. Arnold T. Schwab collection, 1876-1988 (bulk 1929-1955). Library of Congress
creatorOf Edward MacDowell Association. Edward MacDowell Association records, 1947-1968. Archives of American Art
creatorOf MacDowell Colony. Correspondence with Marian Anderson, 1973-1974. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Doris Grumbach papers, 1938-2002 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Video organization file : MacDowell Colony (Peterborough, N.H.) : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
referencedIn Correspondence and other papers of Arthur Sullivan, W. S. (William Schwenck) Gilbert, and related persons, 1834-1979. Harvard Theater Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn Papers of Pauli Murray, 1827-1985 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Armstrong, Florence A., 1885-1962. Papers, 1901-1961 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Olsen, Tillie. Papers, 1930-1990 Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Wylie, Elinor, 1885-1928. Papers of Elinor Wylie [manuscript], 1921-1928. University of Virginia. Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Allen, Hervey, 1889-1949. person
associatedWith Anderson, Wallace Ludwig, 1917- person
associatedWith Armstrong, Florence A., 1885-1962. person
correspondedWith Bacon, Ernst, 1898-1990 person
associatedWith Beach, H. H. A., Mrs., 1867-1944. person
associatedWith Beals, Jessie Tarbox, 1870-1942 person
associatedWith Belton, Don. person
associatedWith Bingham, Sallie person
associatedWith Braithwaite, William Stanley, 1878-1962. person
associatedWith Brodeur, Marie. person
associatedWith Brodeur, Marie. person
associatedWith Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976. person
associatedWith Cather, Willa, 1873-1947. person
correspondedWith Chesler, Phyllis person
associatedWith Colum, Mary. person
associatedWith Colum, Mary. person
associatedWith Colum, Padraic, 1881-1972. person
associatedWith Composers' Forum (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Copland, Aaron, 1900-1990. person
associatedWith Daniels, Mabel W. (Mabel Wheeler), 1878-1971 person
associatedWith Darlington Music Club (Darlington, S.C.) corporateBody
associatedWith Douglas, Laura Glenn, 1888-1962. person
associatedWith Dr. Florence A. Armstrong, 1885-1962 person
associatedWith Edward MacDowell. person
associatedWith Edward MacDowell Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Edward MacDowell Association. Edward MacDowell Association records. corporateBody
associatedWith Faulkner, Barry, 1881-1966. person
associatedWith Fillmore, Louise Dutton. person
associatedWith Fillmore, Parker, 1878-1944. person
associatedWith Frame, Janet. person
associatedWith Frankel, Max, 1914- person
associatedWith Gross, Chaim, 1904- person
associatedWith Grumbach, Doris. person
associatedWith Guglielmi, Louis, 1906-1956. person
associatedWith Hagedorn, Hermann, 1882-1964. person
associatedWith Hale, Thomas Shaw. person
associatedWith Hannay, Roger. person
associatedWith Heyward, Dorothy, 1890-1961. person
associatedWith Heyward, DuBose, 1885-1940. person
correspondedWith Hocking, William Ernest, 1873-1966 person
associatedWith Howe, Mary, 1882-1964. person
associatedWith Isaacs, Lewis Montefiore, 1877-1944. person
correspondedWith Jacqueline Bernard person
associatedWith June Jordan, 1936-2002 person
associatedWith Kalischer, Clemens, 1921- person
associatedWith Kendall, George M. person
associatedWith Klement, Vera. person
associatedWith Konecky, Edith person
associatedWith Levin, Harry, 1912-1994 person
associatedWith Lynes, Russell, 1910-1991. person
associatedWith MacDowell, Edward, 1860-1908. person
associatedWith MacDowell, Marian, 1857-1956. person
associatedWith MacDowell Music Club (Green Bay, Wis.) corporateBody
associatedWith MacDowell Music Club (Green Bay, Wis.) corporateBody
associatedWith MacDowell Society of Evanston (Evanston, Ill.) corporateBody
associatedWith Malliol, William, 1932-1991. person
associatedWith Manton, Robert W., 1894-1967. person
associatedWith Marian MacDowell person
associatedWith Moore, Marianne, 1887-1972. person
associatedWith Murray, Pauli, 1910-1985 person
associatedWith Olsen, Tillie. person
associatedWith Olsen, Tillie. person
associatedWith Olsen, Tillie. person
associatedWith Olsen, Tillie. person
associatedWith Prestopino, Gregorio. person
associatedWith Ranson, Nancy Sussman, 1905- person
associatedWith Rittenhouse, Jessie B. (Jessie Belle), 1869-1948. person
associatedWith Robinson, Edwin Arlington, 1869-1935. person
associatedWith Schuman, William, 1910-1992. person
associatedWith Schwab, Arnold T. person
associatedWith Schwartz, Charles. person
associatedWith Smith, Chard Powers, 1894- person
associatedWith Sorosis (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Studin, Charles H. person
associatedWith Sweeney, James Johnson, 1900-1986. person
associatedWith Talma, Louise, 1906-1996. person
associatedWith Thompson, Virgil, 1896- person
associatedWith Untermeyer, Jean Starr, 1886-1970. person
associatedWith Ussachevsky, Vladimir, 1911-1990 person
associatedWith Whitmore, George, 1945-1989. person
associatedWith Wigglesworth, Frank, 1918-1996. person
associatedWith Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975. person
associatedWith Wylie, Elinor, 1885-1928. person
correspondedWith Zorina, Vera. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Peterborough NH US
Subject
Artist colonies--New Hampshire--Peterborough
Musicians
Artist colonies
Authors
Artists
Occupation
Activity

Corporate Body

Establishment 1907

Active 2020

Americans

English

Information

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SNAC ID: 86622969