Wethersfield Founder Chauncey Devereux Stillman (1907–1989) was passionate about culture. An avid collector of fine art, Stillman was passionate about old masters painting in various traditions, from pre-impressionist/impressionist to classical realism. Included in his collection until 2018, were works by Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec, and Gilbert Charles Stuart, to name a few. The Wethersfield House was designed by Bancel LaFarge and was used to house a collection of fine antiques, paintings, and sculptures.
Stillman’s long friendship with Pietro Annigoni (considered to be the finest portrait painter of the 20th century in the field of classical realism) resulted in Annigoni’s largest fresco. This work is housed at Wethersfield in a marble room “The Gloriette”. Annigoni is best known for his portrait of British Monarch HRH Queen Elizabeth II, and of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, Jr.
While fine arts were Stillman’s true passion, he also enjoyed supporting young artists in disciplines such as classical ballet and classical music, a tradition that continues to this day – across a range of classical artistic disciplines as Wethersfield has been proud to host residencies and performances for rising artists in dance, music, and classical realist landscape painting.