J. Alden Weir
(1852-1919), one of America’s most
accomplished impressionist artists,
painted some of his finest canvases while living at his home and property at Windham in eastern Connecticut’s picturesque “Quiet Corner.”  As one of his favorite and cherished rural locations, Windham played a crucial role in Weir’s artistic development. 

J. Alden Weir
Windham, Connecticut

Weir in his Windham studio

J. Alden Weir at the easel
Windham Studio - c. 1904 - 1919
Photo courtesy National Park Service
Weir Farm National Historic Site, Wilton, CT

The Red Bridge

J. Alden Weir, The Red Bridge, 1895
(Iron Bridge at Windham)
Oil on canvas, 24 1/4 x 33 3/4 in. (61.6 x 85.7 cm)
Gift of Mrs. John A. Rutherfurd, 1914 (14.141)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Red Bridge (1895), for example, now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is renowned for its modern synthesis of nature and industry. It features lively impressionist brushstrokes, a brilliant color palette, and a sophisticated abstract compositional structure inspired by Japanese prints. The Red Bridge depicts a road bridge near Weir’s eastern Connecticut home that joined the rural village of Windham Center with the neighboring industrial complex of Willimantic. 

Weir’s The Factory Village (1897), exhibited at the groundbreaking New York Armory Show exhibition in 1913, depicts the Willimantic Linen Company, one of Connecticut’s largest manufacturing firms at the time. His Connecticut Village (1891) portrays an arrangement of Windham Center homes as seen from the north east corner of his Windham property

The Factory Village

J. Alden Weir, The Factory Village, 1897
Oil on canvas, 29 x 38 in. (73.7 x 96.6 cm)
Gift of Cora Weir Burlingham, 1979, and
Purchase, Marguerite and Frank Cosgrove Jr. Fund, 1998 (1979.487)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Weir and his duaghter on the porch

J. Alden Weir and his Daughter, Dorothy
on the Porch at Windham, 1913

photo courtesy National Park Service,
Weir Farm National Historic Site, Wilton, CT

Stacks Image 3042
Weir spent the last summer and fall of his life at his Windham property, where he enjoyed a visit by his close friend John Singer Sargent (November 1919), before traveling back to New York City for the winter where he died in early December of 1919. However, Weir was to return one more time to Windham Center to be buried in the Baker family plot alongside his beloved first wife Anna and their infant son. In later years, his second wife Ella and two of his daughters were also buried there. 
Weir Gravestone

J. Alden Weir’s grave
Windham Center Cemetery

Rare Light: J. Alden Weir in Windham, Connecticut — 1882 - 1919
Wesleyan University Press, March 2016

Interweaving paintings, photos and letters, some never before published, Rare Light explores the timeless interconnectedness of art and place. With essays by Weir's grandson Charles Burlingham Jr., art historian Anne Dawson, historian Jamie Eves and architectural historian Rachel Carley, it offers in-depth contextual information about the architecture, culture, environment, and history of eastern Connecticut during Weir’s lifetime. 

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