Progressive Era to New Era Gari Melchers

Gari Melchers

Julius Garibaldi (Gari) Melchers was an award-winning American artist whose style encompassed elements of both realism and impressionism. Melchers and his wife, Corinne, purchased the Belmont estate in Falmouth, Virginia in 1916. The artist maintained his home and studio here until his death in 1932. At her death in 1955, Corinne Melchers bequeathed the Belmont property and a large collection of her husband’s art to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Gari Melchers Home and Studio is a National Historic Landmark administered by the University of Mary Washington that encompasses 11 historic and modern structures and 27 acres of woodlands and formal gardens.

Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1860 and schooled in Europe, Melchers enjoyed a long, fruitful career as a working painter and as an influential arts advocate who served on the Virginia Fine Arts Commission and helped develop the Smithsonian American Art Museum. At the pinnacle of his career, Melchers occupied studios in Paris, Holland, and New York, was represented in museums at home and abroad, and was a critical and commercial success. He was exceptionally versatile in his subject matter, being associated with Dutch peasant life, portraiture, the mother and child theme, landscapes, the nude, still life, and mural painting. His stylistic approach was equally eclectic, ranging from the academic realism of his early years to symbolism and the impressionism that typified his later works. Surprisingly, for a time, he slipped from prominence as his painting fell out of step with prevailing tastes. Today, thanks to the power and clarity of his art, he is being recognized once again as an American master and a leading representative of the rich flowering of painting in the United States around 1900.

Gari Melchers sitting on the porch of Belmont

Gari Melchers’ Home & Studio at Belmont

A Virginia and National Historic Landmark, this 18th century estate was home to artist Gari Melchers and his wife Corinne. The main house, gardens, outbuildings and gallery of his work are included in this estate overlooking the historic port town of Falmouth and the Rappahannock River. The Marguerite Stroh Visitor Center and new Studio Pavilion conference facility are ideal for groups with varying interests. Belmont is also available for meetings, indoor and outdoor weddings or receptions, and large school group tours (fee-based). Hours: 10 am -5 pm Open daily except Wednesday

Admission: Adults $10, AAA $9, Students 18 & younger free w/paying adult (limit 2) (540) 654-1015 224 Washington Street, Falmouth, 22405 (Exit 133A – Falmouth)