A Sparse Connecticut County Has Become The Secret Center of the Art World

The entrance to “Sculpturedale” in Kent, Conn., where artist Denis Curtiss creates massive steel animals – panthers, elephants and giraffes – that loom among the trees along his property on Route 7.

Thurber was only one of the many earlier artists in this blessed corner of New England, not least such fellow illustrators as Marc Simont, Robert Andrew Parker, and Arthur Getz, the most prolific New Yorker cover artist ever. Getz spent his last decades in the notably lovely village of Sharon, as did Katharine Rhoades the feminist painter-poet.

There was also Clarence Meier, the Cornwall postmaster-muralist, William Robinson Leigh’s paintings of Kent Falls and historic landscape work by Ben Foster and Theodore van Soelen. More recently came the abstractions of Cleve Gray.

Perhaps the archetypal Litchfield artist was Gray’s father-in-law, the mighty Alexander Liberman. Liberman was famed and feared as the longtime editorial director of Conde Nast, as well as being a photographer of his many artist friends — including Alexander Calder in nearby Roxbury — and a creator of monumental sculpture.

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