Gari Melchers Home & Studio
The 18th-century Belmont estate was the country home and studio of prominent portraitist, muralist, and internationally renowned American Impressionist painter Gari Melchers (1860-1932). The house contains Gari and Corinne Melchers’ original furnishings and personal art collection. The studio houses over 1600 works by Melchers, and the 27-acre grounds feature restored formal gardens and miles of walking trails. Gari Melchers Home and Studio (GMHS) is a historic house and art museum which celebrates Gari Melchers' career. Melchers lived and worked at his late 18th-century estate, Belmont, in Falmouth, Virginia, the last sixteen years of his life. The artist’s widow, Corinne Lawton Melchers (1880-1955), deeded the property in its entirety to the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1942, providing that it serve as a memorial to her husband’s life work and as an art center for the community. Following her death in 1955, the University of Mary Washington assumed management of the property and pursued designation as a National Historic Landmark, which it earned in 1962. In accordance with Mrs. Melchers’ will, GMHS opened to the public in October 1975. In 2000 GMHS became a founding member of the Historic Artists’ Home and Studios network, a coalition of 44 museums that were once the homes and working studios of American artists. Of those, GMHS is one of the best-preserved, owing to the largest collection of the Melchers’ anywhere, his fully furnished home and studio, the artist’s personal collection of art, and an extensive archives. In 1994, the Garden Club of Virginia restored the gardens and grounds according to the design plans laid out by the artist and his wife in the early 1920s.