Gari Melchers’ Home and Studio At Belmont: A Closer Look
Tucked away right outside of historic downtown Fredericksburg and overlooking the Rappahannock River, is Gari Melchers’ Home and Studio at Belmont. Beautifully landscaped grounds, formal gardens, and carefully preserved buildings give Belmont loads of charm. What really makes this location interesting, is the fact that the studio and Georgian style country house can be seen today just as they appeared in the 1920’s! It’s one of the most authentic and complete artists’ homes anywhere.
Gari Melchers (1860 – 1932)
American American Impressionist painter Gari Melchers (1860-1932) is best known for his works: The Sermon, The Communion, The Pilots and The Choirmaster. Melchers was also well known for his portraiture work. Subjects included Vanderbilt, Mellon and Roosevelt! Melchers was named to the Virginia Art Commission, won a 1932 Gold medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, chaired the Smithsonian Commission to Establish a National Gallery of Art (today’s Smithsonian American Art Museum) and was elected trustee of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Accolades aside, his love story with artist Corinne Melchers, whom he met on an ocean liner, is perhaps the most fondly remembered part of his legacy. Their beloved home at Belmont is a celebration of that love.
The Restored Gardens
Upon purchasing Belmont, The Melchers underwent an extensive garden restoration. This included an orchard, rows of boxwood lining the Long Walk, and an extensive amount of flowers. Throughout the year, you can find sedum, iris, peonies, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths, cosmos, old-fashioned hollyhocks, zinnia, ageratum, geranium, verbena, and cleome. Corrine also had a large collection of roses. Be sure to visit her rose arbor at either end of the Long Walk. Corrine’s love of gardening led her to becoming a founding member of the Rappahannock Valley Garden Club, a Garden Club of Virginia (GCV) affiliated club. She also oversaw the restoration of the gardens at both Kenmore in Fredericksburg, and Stratford Hall in Westmoreland County.
As you can imagine, Gari Melchers’ Home and Studio at Belmont make a dreamy setting for family photos, a wedding, reception, bridal luncheon, evening event or even a business meeting. The views and tranquility surrounding the estate are hard to beat!
Plan your visit!
From November 1- March 31, the museum is open daily 10 am – 4 pm. April 1 through October 31, the museum is open daily 10 am – 5 pm.
The garden and trails are available to enjoy free of charge everyday during public hours. Gates at the museum’s entrance will be locked at 5 p.m.