Thursday, May 9, 2013

Yaddo

A couple of days ago, my camera and I wandered through Yaddo, in my hometown of Saratoga Springs.  What is Yaddo?  Well, straight from the Yaddo website's history page "Founded in 1900 by the financier Spencer Trask and his wife Katrina, herself a poet, Yaddo is an artists' community located on a 400-acre estate in Saratoga Springs, New York. Its mission is to nurture the creative process by providing an opportunity for artists to work without interruption in a supportive environment." 
Visual artists, writers, performance artists, filmmakers, and composers apply to spend a period of time at Yaddo, where they are provided a place to stay, a studio, meals, and a peaceful creative environment without distraction.  The list of people who have stayed there over the years include some well-known people like Sylvia Plath, Mario Puzo, Truman Capote, Leonard Bernstein, and so many more.  The history of Yaddo includes the tragic deaths of young children, and a fair share of ghost stories as well!  As kids growing up in Saratoga, it was fun to explore the grounds, which included climbing a fence to the private grounds and hoping to glimpse something awesome or spooky.  Usually we just got bitten by killer mosquitoes!  The mansion at the top of the post is only a small part of the grounds, and while it is private,the mansion from time to time is opened to the public for tours or chamber music concerts. 

The grounds include a public rose garden and rock garden, ponds, and statues, all lovely to look at and explore.  The roses and other flowers are not in bloom yet, of course, but these views were all from the public grounds.

Wouldn't these two photos below be great for teaching perspective? 
 As I toured the public grounds, a class of what appeared to be high school students sat nestled among the new growth near the rock garden area working on drawings. 
 
Looking down on the yet-to-bloom rose gardens:
When I was a young teacher, my mother took a job working as bookkeeper at Yaddo, working on the private grounds.  At the time, she befriended a young painter who took me on a tour of his studio.  His paintings were small fresh landscapes, really lovely.

Anyhow, I thought you'd perhaps a glimpse into this lovely place.  I'll try to get back to take more photos when it is  in full bloom.

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