August 24, 2017 - August 27, 2017
Bar Harbor and the island of Mount Desert has been a destination for inspiration, relaxation and outdoor activities since the 1840s. At first, Hudson River School painters, most notably Thomas Cole and Frederic Church, travelled to Mount Desert Island and in particular to Bar Harbor to paint images of the area’s spectacular seascapes and landscapes.
After the Civil War, great hotels were built for vacationers or “rusticators,” but ultimately the “cottages,” rambling shingle-style mansions, and middle class summer residences took over the landscape. Disaster hit Bar Harbor with the Great Fire of 1947, when a third of its 222 cottages were destroyed. Today, with a social history that rivals Newport, the Berkshires and Tuxedo Park and great scenic beauty all its own, Mt. Desert remains a major summer destination. Like most of the 19th century resorts, many of the seasonal homes remain in private hands while others have become house museums, belong to institutions or offer overnight accommodations.
One other major aspect of Mt. Desert Island is nature and the cultivation of beautiful gardens. One person stands out for her highly talented contribution, the legendary landscape designer Beatrix Farrand, who summered at Bar Harbor for over half a century, creating over 60 gardens on the island. One of her greatest projects was the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden at Seal Harbor. Collections of plants from her Reef Point home can now be seen at the Asticou Azalea Garden and Thuya Garden, both at Northeast Harbor. Another Farrand garden can be found at her last home, Garland Farm, Salisbury Cove, now maintained by the Beatrix Farrand Society.
The Institute of Classical Architecture &amp; Art is pleased to announce that an exclusive tour is being offered in collaboration with Classical Excursions of Bar Harbor and other significant towns and areas on extraordinary Mt. Desert Island.