Beauport: A Dream Realized with Mary Woodward

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Monday, Jun 18, 2018, 7:30 pm

Edgewood Auditorium
575 Osgood Street
North Andover, MA

Presented by Mary C. Woodward, Historic New England Guide, Beauport is the evocative name for a wondrous confection of a house dreamed of and brought to reality by Henry Davis Sleeper.  He was one of America’s first interior designers, Massachusetts-born and mostly self-taught.  Beauport was begun in 1907 and would probably still be in a state of redesign and renovation except for his death in 1934.

It’s hard to categorize the style of the house into any one category.  It began as a somewhat modest, Queen Anne-style sea side cottage…a 26-room home for Sleeper and his mother.  But it didn’t stay that size or shape for long and grew to what you will see today, over 40-rooms to display his collections. Sleeper was an antiquarian, a collector and a designer.  He was enamored of America’s Colonial past as well as Asian art and English Medievalism.  And they all find a home in his home at Beauport.

We were first introduced to Henry Sleeper in our talk on Isabella Stewart Gardner.  Henry was her friend and resident of “Dabsville,” a close-knit community of friends with homes on Gloucester’s Eastern Point.  He’s the “S’ in the name.  He was so close to Isabella Stewart Gardner and such a fan of her home, Fenway Court (as she called her self-named museum) that she made him a Trustee of Fenway Court.  But he was also an associate of Henry Francis du Pont and advised him on the creation and decoration of several of his homes, including the one now known as the Winterthur Museum.

We will take a look at this one-of-a-kind house in our illustrated talk.  I can guarantee that you’ve never seen a home quite like it…a treasure-trove and a delight for the eye, situated in a magnificent sea shore setting.  We will be taking a tour of the Beauport on June 27th.


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