Marc Chagall’s Teeny Upstate Cabin, untouched since 1970

0

Photo: Courtesy of Berkshire Hathaway Hudson Valley

Artist Marc Chagall’s studio — a two-bedroom Catskills cabin — was listed last Tuesday for just $240,000. The Russian-French modernist lived in High Falls from April 1946 to August 1948, and according to Rik Rydant, a history buff who helped organize the ‘Chagall in High Falls’ exhibition at the Wired Gallery in High Falls in 2011, Chagall created during it Time over 90 works his time in the house. The same exhibition also contained documents revealing details of his life on the ground, including family photos taken by Belgian photographer Charles Leirens and an FBI file on the artist – who was under close surveillance due to his leftist politics.

Photo: Courtesy of Berkshire Hathaway Hudson Valley

The gray clapboard house has two stories totaling just 840 square feet and sits on half an acre of wooded land adjacent to the main house where Chagall lived in the backcountry. Entering through a tiled mudroom, there’s a combined living and dining room (the 70-year-old hardwood floors are intact, as is the Rosendale cement foundation) and a small brick-built kitchen overlooking the backyard. The master bedroom, which sits under the pitched roof and has sloping ceilings, overlooks a valley and is also lit by a skylight.

Photo: Courtesy of Berkshire Hathaway Hudson Valley

According to a 1995 Hudson Valley Magazine article “Chagall’s Days in High Falls” Before moving there, the artist lived in Manhattan after fleeing Europe following the Nazi occupation of France. In his autobiography My life, he wrote that his wife, Bella, preferred the “culture” of Manhattan — “but I would be content to live in a quiet place where I would do nothing but paint pictures that would amaze the world.” After After losing his wife to infection, he did just that, moving upstate two years later with his new partner Virginia Haggard McNeil, his former housekeeper who was the daughter of a British diplomat. He was particularly drawn to the Marbletown area because of its large population of Russian Americans – he could speak mainly Yiddish there. The couple welcomed their son David while living in the Catskills and lived a willful reclusive life when the child was born out of wedlock. The artist was denied a visa, partly because of his politics, and moved to France after just two years in the home.

Photo: Courtesy of Berkshire Hathaway Hudson Valley

The current owner, Larry Lynch, has owned the home since 1970. He has chosen not to modernize the home at all, which is evident from some clapboards on the living room walls. Compass listing agent Elizabeth Perez is hoping that “someone in the art world” will be a potential buyer. “If someone was able to preserve it, that would be wonderful,” she said.

Photo: Courtesy of Berkshire Hathaway Hudson Valley

See everything

Share.

Comments are closed.