Lawrence Park Art Colony
There was a sense of bucolic serenity in Lawrence Park. It seemed a world away from the noise and grime of New York City. It offered a pastoral setting reminiscent of Europe, yet Grand Central Station was half an hour away. Besides these advantages, an artist had the opportunity to rent a handsome house at very little expense.
Lawrence Park, a planned art colony from its beginning, was intended by its visionary developer to provide a pleasant environment and a friendly suburban neighborhood for artists and their families. Its founder, William Van Duzer Lawrence, believed that artists "were an interesting and congenial class of people."1 Lawrence established his unique development in Bronxville, just outside New York City, in the late nineteenth century, at a time when it "was still rural and breathtaking in its beauty." 2
Lawrence made several concessions in his efforts to attract artists to Lawrence Park, including the customizing of their homes to their personal requirements. In some cases, he subsidized rental costs for artists to encourage them to move in. When he learned that muralist * Will H. Low was having problems finding a studio large enough for his creations, Lawrence"promised Low that if he moved to Lawrence Park he would build a studio that would accommodate his most ambitious works."3
By 1900, according to historian Loretta Hoagland, "there were several prominent artists in Lawrence Park, and more were buying houses on the fringes. The artists saw each other both professionally and socially, and were enthusiastic about the growing reputation of the art colony."4 East Hampton painter* George