The Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society is offering the chance to explore American artist George Bellows’ Marble Cliff connections.
The 2013 Tour of Homes is scheduled from 1-4 p.m. May 12. Two of the four stops on the tour are homes that belonged to Bellows’ family members and were designed by Bellows’ cousin, architect C. Walter Bellows. George Bellows, a realist painter associated with Robert Henri's “The Eight” and the Ashcan School movement, grew up in Columbus, and the Columbus Museum of Art has a large collection of his work. An exhibit of Bellows’ work will be on display there Aug. 23 through Jan. 4.
The homes – on adjacent lots on Arlington and West Third avenues – were built in 1910 and 1911 and are in the American Crafstman style. The third home on the tour, a 1917 home on Cambridge Boulevard, is in the same style, which is also known as American Arts and Crafts. Exterior Craftsman features include low-pitched roofs and overhanging eaves. Interior designs have more open floor plans than earlier Victorian homes and often feature built-in shelving and cabinetry, as well as breakfast nooks.
Patrick Mooney, a historical society board member and tour organizer, is enthusiastic about the artist's connection to this year’s tour.
“We’re combining architecture and art,” Mooney says. “The unique thing about these homes ... one has been occupied by only two families in more than 100 years, and actually, the second and third owners of that house were two generations of the same family, and the other one has had only four families in over 100 years. The third house is the same period, but built a little later in 1917, and retains many interesting features, but has a more complicated story.”
For devotees of the tour, the home on West Third Avenue may look familiar. The home, built in 1910, was a featured residence in 2001. Its original inhabitants were Frederick Howard Auld and Gertrude Bellows Auld, a cousin of George Bellows. Auld was president of the D. L. Auld Company, a custom jewelry shop that became the go-to manufacturer of automobile emblems.
Some of the home’s distinct features are leaded glass casement windows, arches over the windows and several sets of French doors. The garage – which had a kitchenette, lavatory, and carpeted fireplace area – has also served as a party room. The 3,928-square-foot home has four bedrooms, each of which has its own fireplace, and three bathrooms.
The fourth stop on the tour is Trinity United Methodist Church on Cambridge Boulevard, which will serve as a parking location and will host further information on Bellows and his family. A docent from the Columbus Museum of Art will present a program as the artist’s “Aunt Fanny” – Bellows’ mother’s sister – telling stories and showing drawings from Bellows’ childhood. In addition, the museum will display Bellows’ Portrait of My Father in the church atrium and play a slideshow with information about the artist.
Mooney and other historical society members collected information on the three homes for a brochure that will be available to tour guests.
The tour is the historical society’s only major fundraiser and takes place every three years.
“It’s become a kind of community tradition,” Mooney says of the event, which is traditionally held on Mother’s Day. “People do the tour and take Mom to dinner. We often find families coming and saying ‘I once lived in this house’ that’s on the tour. It’s a very strong community event.”
Mooney expects more than 500 guests on this year’s tour. Tickets are $10 and are available on the tour date at Trinity United Methodist Church.
For more information on the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Historical Society, visit www.ghmchs.org.
Lisa Aurand is editor of Tri-Village Magazine. Feedback welcome at email@example.com.