Celebrate Silvermine with CSF Director Samuel Schmitt at the New Canaan Library

Swans—a symbol of Silvermine—on the millpond upstream from the Silvermine Tavern.

Discover the rich history of Silvermine with “Silvermine: Celebrating Its Art, History, and Beauty,” by author and CSF Executive Director Samuel A. Schmitt on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 6:30 pm at the New Canaan Public Library in New Canaan, Connecticut.

The building that became known as the Silvermine Tavern has stood at the crossroads of the community for over 200 years. Long thought of as an authentic colonial inn, it was originally around built 1810 as part of a complex of commercial buildings that included mills along the river, a blacksmith shop, and store. The building was transformed into an inn and restaurant less than a century ago, and has served as the community gathering place, landmark, and center of gracious hospitality ever since.

Silvermine, home to Carl Schmitt for over 70 years, is known today for its natural beauty, the Silvermine Guild Arts Center, and the Silvermine Tavern.  Few, however, are aware of its rich history.  Encompassing sections of New Canaan, Norwalk, and Wilton, Connecticut, Silvermine went from a small mill town during the 18th and 19th centuries to a vibrant artist colony in the early 20th century.  Numerous artists, including Carl Schmitt, attracted by the scenery and proximity to the art scene in New York, flocked to the area, using the old mills and barns for their studios.

Carl Schmitt stands proudly outside his new studio on Borglum Road in this photograph from 1919. Local contractor Bill Lyons completed the building at cost for his artist friend. It featured Flemish bond brickwork and a red tile roof outside, and handmade tiles on the floor inside. The single room and loft were heated by a potbelly stove which proved barely adequate when the artist worked late on chilly winter nights. Schmitt sold the building when he moved his family to Europe in the late 1930s. In 2004, after being used as a house and falling into disrepair, the studio was purchased by the Carl Schmitt Foundation, which restored it to its original condition. It now serves as one of the Foundation’s galleries.

These artists formed the Silvermine Group of Artists and later the Silvermine Guild, a haven for art of all kinds. The high quality of the work of the early Silvermine artists compares favorably with the members of the better known colonies in Old Lyme and Cos Cob.

Through dozens of historic photographs the new book Silvermine tells the story of the bucolic hamlet Carl Schmitt called home for over 70 years. CSF director Samuel Schmitt recounts how the picturesque valley, once buzzing with sawmills, was transformed into a cultural hub with the coming of the artists, including Carl Schmitt, who formed the Silvermine Guild in 1922. It’s part of the well-known “Images of America” series from Arcadia Publishing. See a preview and order here from Amazon.com. Your purchase benefits the Carl Schmitt Foundation.

Join us Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 6:30 pm at the New Canaan Public Library located at 151 Main Street in New Canaan, Connecticut.  (Directions can be found here.)  Signed copies of Schmitt’s new book Silvermine, will be for sale during the presentation.  Admission is free but you are requested to register for the event here.


In this etching for the cover of a booklet for the Silvermine Guild of Artists, Carl Schmitt pokes gentle fun at the sometimes frenetic pace of social life in the artist colony during the summer season  Both artists and patrons relished any excuse for getting together at picnics and other gatherings.  At one time Silvermine was as well known for its calendar of theatrical productions and social events as for its art exhibits.

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Reminder: Silvermine talk tomorrow

Signed copies of the new book from Arcadia Publishing will be available.

A reminder that my talk on Silvermine is tomorrow evening, July 12, 2017, at 6:30 at Mill Hill Historic Park in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Hosted by the Norwalk Historical Society, “Silvermine: Celebrating Its Art, History, and Beauty,” features vintage photos from my new book Silvermine from Arcadia Publishing.

The new book on Silvermine includes over 170 vintage photos collected from local historical societies, the Carl Schmitt Foundation, and Silvermine residents. 
In this photo from the CSF archives,  Silvermine children strike a serious pose at a birthday party at the big rock in front of the Borglum house.  Artist’s children, particularly those of the Borglum, Schmitt, Gutmann, and Meek families, swam in the river in the summer and skated on the pond in the winter, gathering for birthdays, Fourths of July, and other celebrations.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase, so if you’re in Connecticut or near New York City, I’d love to see you and sign your copy.  Click here for more information.

Gertrude Lord (Carl Schmitt’s future wife) at the Indian camp presented at the 1912 Country Fair in New Canaan, Connecticut. The fair, held on the grounds of St. Aloysius Catholic Church on South Street, included demonstrations by the local Boy Scout troop, a Punch and Judy show, a menagerie of wild animals, and, of course, fireworks.

Swans and Still Lifes: Upcoming Talk by CSF Director Samuel Schmitt celebrates Silvermine

Swans—a symbol of Silvermine—on the millpond upstream from the Silvermine Tavern.

Discover the rich history of Silvermine during this celebratory presentation, “Silvermine: Celebrating Its Art, History, and Beauty,” by author and CSF Executive Director Samuel A. Schmitt on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 6:30 pm at the Norwalk Historical Society in Norwalk, Connecticut.

The building that became known as the Silvermine Tavern has stood at the crossroads of the community for over 200 years. Long thought of as an authentic colonial inn, it was originally around built 1810 as part of a complex of commercial buildings that included mills along the river, a blacksmith shop, and store. The building was transformed into a inn and restaurant less than a century ago, and has served as the community gathering place, landmark, and center of gracious hospitality ever since.

Silvermine, home to Carl Schmitt for over 70 years, is known today for its natural beauty, the Silvermine Guild Arts Center, and the Silvermine Tavern.  Few, however, are aware of its rich history.  Encompassing sections of New Canaan, Norwalk, and Wilton, Connecticut, Silvermine went from a small mill town during the 18th and 19th centuries to a vibrant artist colony in the early 20th century.  Numerous artists, including Carl Schmitt, attracted by the scenery and proximity to the art scene in New York, flocked to the area, using the old mills and barns for their studios.

Carl Schmitt stands proudly outside his new studio on Borglum Road in this photograph from 1919. Local contractor Bill Lyons completed the building at cost for his artist friend. It featured Flemish bond brickwork and a red tile roof outside, and handmade tiles on the floor inside. The single room and loft were heated by a potbelly stove which proved barely adequate when the artist worked late on chilly winter nights. Schmitt sold the building when he moved his family to Europe in the late 1930s. In 2004, after being used as a house and falling into disrepair, the studio was purchased by the Carl Schmitt Foundation, which restored it to its original condition. It now serves as one of the Foundation’s galleries.

These artists formed the Silvermine Group of Artists and later the Silvermine Guild, a haven for art of all kinds. The high quality of the work of the early Silvermine artists compares favorably with the members of the better known colonies in Old Lyme and Cos Cob.  On view in the 1835 Town House at Mill Hill, where the lecture will be presented, is a new salon-style art exhibit, “Preserving and Observing: Two Centuries of Norwalk Art,” featuring the works of many Silvermine Guild artists from the early to mid-20th century.

Through dozens of historic photographs the new book Silvermine tells the story of the bucolic hamlet Carl Schmitt called home for over 70 years. CSF director Samuel Schmitt recounts how the picturesque valley, once buzzing with sawmills, was transformed into a cultural hub with the coming of the artists, including Carl Schmitt, who formed the Silvermine Guild in 1922. It’s part of the well-known “Images of America” series from Arcadia Publishing. See a preview and order here from Amazon.com. Your purchase benefits the Carl Schmitt Foundation.

Join us Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 6:30 pm at Mill Hill Historic Park, located at 2 East Wall Street in Norwalk, Connecticut.  Follow signs for parking.  Signed copies of Schmitt’s new book Silvermine, will be for sale during the presentation.  Admission is $5.00 and tickets can be purchased here or at the door.  Light refreshments will be served.  This event is sponsored in part by the Norwalk Association of Silvermine Homeowners and the Silvermine Community Association.

We look forward to seeing you there! (Light refreshments will be served.)

In this etching for the cover of a booklet for the Silvermine Guild of Artists, Carl Schmitt pokes gentle fun at the sometimes frenetic pace of social life in the artist colony during the summer season  Both artists and patrons relished any excuse for getting together at picnics and other gatherings.  At one time Silvermine was as well known for its calendar of theatrical productions and social events as for its art exhibits.

Talk on the new book Silvermine tonight in Ridgefield, CT

silvermine-book-front-cover-9781467124119

CSF director Samuel Schmitt will present an Author Talk on his new book Silvermine tonight, April 26, 2017, at 7 pm.  Sponsored by the independent bookstore Books on the Common, the event will take place in the Main Program Room at the Ridgefield Public Library, 472 Main Street in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

silvermine-title-page-spread

Through dozens of historic photographs Silvermine tells the story of the bucolic hamlet Carl Schmitt called home for over 70 years.  The book recounts how the picturesque valley, once buzzing with sawmills, was transformed into a cultural hub with the coming of the artists, including Carl Schmitt, who formed the Silvermine Guild in 1922.  It’s part of the well-known “Images of America” series from Arcadia Publishing.  See a preview and order here from Amazon.com.  Your purchase benefits the Carl Schmitt Foundation.

For more information and to register for this event, click here.

silvermine-interior-page-spread-118-119

Come to the Carl Schmitt Foundation’s 2016 Annual Open House

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This year’s Open House will take place on Saturday, November 12, 2016, from 12 noon to 3 pm at the studio-gallery in Silvermine, 30 Borglum Road, Wilton, Connecticut (see directions below).

  • See Carl Schmitt’s masterpiece, Boy with Cello (above) now restored to its original brilliance.
  • CSF president Samuel Schmitt will introduce a new book by Carl Schmitt, The Conscience of Beauty, a collection of over 60 essays on art, the family, and culture, spanning 40 years of the artist’s life.
  • Copies of the book, Carl Schmitt: The Vision of Beauty will be available at 25% off.
  • Christmas cards and other gifts featuring beautiful paintings by Carl Schmitt will also be available for sale. Your purchase of these cards as well as the book benefits the CSF. Both are offered just in time for Christmas!
  • As always, there will be plenty of opportunity to catch up with family and friends at the luncheon.

We’d be delighted to see you there!

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Glass Platter, oil on canvas, 25 x 30 in.

Directions to the CSF studio-gallery:
From the Merritt Parkway (Rt. 15) Northbound: Take exit 39B to Route 7 north. At the end of the expressway, turn LEFT onto Grist Mill Rd. At the stop sign, turn RIGHT on to Belden Hill Rd. *At the first stop sign (3/4 mile) turn LEFT on to Seir Hill Rd. After 1/3 mile, take a RIGHT onto Old Boston Road and the second LEFT (after 1/3 mile) to stay on Old Boston Road. After the single lane bridge, take a SHARP LEFT on to Borglum Rd. The CSF studios are the third driveway on your right.

From the Merritt Parkway (Rt. 15) Southbound: Take exit 40B to Main Avenue north (the exit is marked “To Route 7 North”). At the bottom of the ramp, turn right, and after 3/4 mile, turn LEFT on to Grist Mill Rd. Go through the lights, and at the stop sign, turn RIGHT on to Belden Hill Rd. and the follow the directions as given for the Merritt Parkway Northbound from this point.*

From I-95 (Connecticut Turnpike) north or south: Take exit 15 to Route 7 north for 3½ miles to the end of the expressway; turn LEFT at the light onto Grist Mill Rd. At the stop sign, turn RIGHT on to Belden Hill Rd. and follow the directions for the Merritt Parkway Northbound from this point.*

From Route 7: Take Route 106 West (Wolfpit Rd.); after 2 miles (immediately after the sign for the school bus stop) turn LEFT onto Old Boston Rd. At the next intersection bear a gentle right onto Borglum Road. The CSF studios (#30) are the third driveway on your right.

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Three Children with Toys, oil on canvas, c. 1926, 30 x 36 in.
“The lyric mood must be kept at all costs and preserved from the terrible enmity of active life,” Carl Schmitt wrote in his journal in December, 1924. “The spirit of the times and of our country is dead against that leisure without which true Religion and true art can not flourish.”