NE Art Colonies New England Art Colonies

Exploring the Vibrant World of New England Art Colonies

New England, with its picturesque landscapes, rich history, and diverse culture, has long been a haven for artists seeking inspiration and creative camaraderie. The New England region is dotted with numerous art colonies, each with its unique charm and artistic heritage. Read about the history of artist colonies in New England, explore some famous ones across states, and check out the best New England towns to buy and view art.

History of Artist Colonies in New England

The tradition of artist colonies in New England dates back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries when a group of artists and writers sought refuge from the urban hustle and bustle in the serene landscapes of the region. These colonies offered a haven where artists could work, collaborate, and find inspiration in the stunning natural surroundings.

Discovering the Enclave of New England’s Art Colonies

New England, with its scenic landscapes and rich cultural heritage, has been a longstanding hub for artists seeking solace, inspiration, and collaboration in its artist colonies.

History of Artist Colonies in New England

The artist colonies of New England trace their roots back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries when creatives sought refuge and artistic stimulation in the region’s natural beauty. These enclaves served as sanctuaries for artists, fostering an environment conducive to creativity, collaboration, and innovation.

Notable New England Artist Colonies

Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park, Cornish, New Hampshire:

    • Address: 139 Saint-Gaudens Road, Cornish, NH 03745
    • Origin: The Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park in Cornish, New Hampshire, was once the summer home and studio of renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. His estate, Aspet, became a magnet for artists and intellectuals in the late 19th century, drawing luminaries such as author Willa Cather and President Theodore Roosevelt. Today, the park continues to inspire artists with its idyllic surroundings and sculptures.

MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, New Hampshire:

    • Address: 100 High Street, Peterborough, NH 03458
    • Origin: Founded in 1907 by American composer Edward MacDowell and his wife, pianist Marian MacDowell, the MacDowell Colony is one of the oldest and most prestigious artist residencies in the United States. It has hosted a wide range of artists, including writers, composers, visual artists, and more. The colony offers a peaceful retreat for creative individuals to work on their projects in solitude.

Ogunquit Art Colony, Ogunquit, Maine:

    • Address: Ogunquit Museum of American Art, 543 Shore Road, Ogunquit, ME 03907
    • Origin: Ogunquit’s art colony emerged in the early 20th century, fueled by stunning coastal landscapes and an artistic community eager to capture its beauty. The Ogunquit Museum of American Art preserves the legacy of this colony and continues to exhibit American modernist art, celebrating the region’s artistic heritage.

Best New England Towns for Art Enthusiasts

Wolfeboro, New Hampshire:

  • Situated on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, Wolfeboro not only hosts art exhibitions but also fosters a vibrant arts community. It’s a great place to buy art and immerse yourself in artistic endeavors.

Ogunquit, Maine:

Ogunquit has long been a magnet for artists due to its rugged coastline and dramatic landscapes. The Ogunquit Museum of American Art features a collection of American modernist art and hosts rotating exhibitions.

North Conway, New Hampshire:

Nestled in the White Mountains, North Conway has been a destination for plein-air painters and landscape artists. The town’s scenic beauty, including the Saco River and the surrounding peaks, has inspired generations of artists.

Rockport, Massachusetts:

    • With a rich artistic tradition and numerous galleries, Rockport offers a picturesque setting for art enthusiasts. The iconic Motif No.1 and its scenic harbor are constant sources of inspiration for artists.

New England’s artist colonies have a rich history and continue to thrive, attracting artists and art lovers from near and far. From the historical charm of Saint-Gaudens in Cornish to the prestigious MacDowell Colony and the coastal allure of Ogunquit, these colonies have left an indelible mark on the region’s artistic landscape. Whether you seek to buy art or simply revel in the creative atmosphere, New England’s art colonies offer a diverse array of experiences for all. Plan your visit and immerse yourself in the vibrant world of New England’s art scene.

Sandy Martin Art Gallery
Sandy Martin Gallery, 17 Bay Street, Wolfeboro, NH 03894 | 603-569-9890
The Sandy Martin Gallery offers original fine art oil and watercolor paintings, photography, bronze sculpture, and hand crafted jewelry. Browse this destination fine art gallery in the beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee town of Wolfeboro. Shop for original oil paintings, watercolors, photographs, custom prints, and bronze sculputure depicting the beauty of the New Hampshire Lakes Region by the artists who love it.
Visit Sandy Martin Art - Wolfeboro, NH


Provincetown, Massachusetts:

Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod, is renowned for its vibrant art scene. It became a hub for artists in the early 20th century, attracting luminaries like Jackson Pollock and Edward Hopper. The Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) continues to showcase the works of local and visiting artists.

Monhegan Island, Maine:

Off the coast of Maine, Monhegan Island has attracted artists since the late 19th century. The island’s rugged beauty, dramatic cliffs, and serene atmosphere have made it a paradise for painters and photographers.
Best New England Towns to Buy and View Art

New England’s art colonies have a rich history and continue to thrive, drawing artists and art enthusiasts from around the world. Whether you’re seeking to purchase art or simply immerse yourself in a creative atmosphere, the region offers a diverse array of options. From the quaint streets of Provincetown to the rugged beauty of Monhegan Island, New England’s art colonies are a testament to the enduring allure of this region for artists of all kinds. So, plan your New England visit and experience the vibrant world of New England’s art scene.

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