Weir House, Weir Studio, and Young Studio Under Restoration
The historic Weir House, Weir Studio, and Young Studio are currently undergoing restoration and are closed to the public. The Burlingham House Visitor Center and park grounds remain open and available during regular hours. More »
An Artist and the War
1917 to 1948
Sperry Andrews was the longest resident of Weir Farm, living on the property for almost fifty years, from 1957 until 2005. Besides being a prolific artist here, he and his wife Doris were also the preservationists of the site. As stewards of the property, they understood the unique significance of the farm's tradition of art and family life in a pastoral landscape. Through their efforts, Weir's original "farm among the rocks" became a national historic site in 1990, one of over 400 national parks that tell the story of America.
From his childhood, Sperry understood that he was an artist. He was born in New York City on October 5, 1917, and grew up in the Yonkers-Bronxville area. His supportive father, though himself a banker, encouraged Sperry's artistic endeavors. "If that's what you want to do, go ahead and do it," his father said. Sperry did just that, attending art school at the National Academy of Design from 1933-1936. At age twenty-one, his artwork was in its first juried exhibition-the 113th Annual Exhibition at the National Academy of Design.
World War II took Sperry away from his art education when he was drafted into the Army in 1941. He went overseas to Iceland and served as part of a task force for more than two years with the 50th Ordinance Ammunition Company. He then served in England, Normandy and Germany. Despite the war, Sperry continued to create art in his time off, chronicling his experience in a series of personal scrapbooks illustrated in watercolors. After the war, he returned to New York City and took advantage of the GI Bill by enrolling in the Art Students League. It was here that he met fellow student Doris Bass when they shared an easel together. The two were married and then moved to Ridgefield, Connecticut in 1948.
Did You Know?
Weir Farm National Historic Site is located in the historic town of Branchville, Connecticut. It was named for the "branch" of the train line that used to connect the Danbury railroad to the center of Ridgefield, Connecticut.