About

Gari Melchers Home and Studio

224 Washington St.
Fredericksburg, Virginia 22405

Phone: (540) 654-1015
Website: https://www.garimelchers.org

The 18th-century Belmont estate was the home and studio of prominent portraitist and American Impressionist painter Gari Melchers (1860-1932) from 1916 until his death.

The Georgian mansion, outbuildings and formal gardens were modified and expanded to serve as an elegant country retreat for the artist and his wife, who had left their longtime European home at the outbreak of WWI. Melchers was one of the most respected artists of his generation, accomplished as a prominent portraitist and American Impressionist landscape artist.

Upon Mrs. Melchers’ death in 1955, the property and all its contents were deeded to the Commonwealth of Virginia, making Belmont one of the most complete and authentic artists’ homes in America.

The museum consists of the artist’s home, gardens and studio. The stone studio and galleries house the largest collection of Melchers’ works anywhere.

Gari Melchers

Like most aspiring American artists of his generation, Gari Melchers (1860-1932) pursued European training, acquiring a solid academic foundation that served him well as a figure painter and portraitist. As an expatriate with studios in Paris, Holland, and Germany, he built a reputation as a painter of everyday life, including the sphere of women, subjects he continued to pursue on his permanent return to the United States in 1916, much in thanks to the inspiration he derived from the beauty of Belmont and the surrounding community. Premier paintings of this period are The Hunters, Nelson Berry’s Store, St. George’s Church and Young Woman Sewing.

Studio & Galleries

When in the early 1920s Gari Melchers developed plans for the construction of a studio adjacent to the house, he instructed the architect to design a practical space that would function as both work space and storage, but he was “not to forget that it is meant to be a private gallery and must eventually do service.” Detroit architect, John Donaldson, a longtime friend of Melchers, designed the structure according to the artist’s specifications. Work was completed on the stone building in 1924.

Today the building continues to serve as a Melchers showcase, housing the largest collection of his paintings and drawings anywhere—some 1600 items in all—and features rotating exhibitions spanning the whole of his career.