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 »
Public Law 101-485
October 31, 1990
To establish the Weir Farm National Historic Site in the State of Connecticut.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled.
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Weir Farm National Historic Site Establishment Act of 1990'.
SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.
As used in this Act--
(1) The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of the Interior.
(2) The term `historic site' means the Weir Farm National Historic Site established in section 4.
SEC. 3. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.
(a) FINDINGS- The Congress finds that--
(1) the Weir Farm in Connecticut is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a historic site associated with major American artists and several artistic developments;
(2) the Weir Farm, acquired in 1882 by J. Alden Weir, a founder and principal exponent of American Impressionism, has been continuously occupied by working artists and their families who have maintained its significance and integrity as a historic site; and
(3) the Weir Farm, including the house, barns, studios, pond, field, and woods thereon, and the approximately 113 acres of adjacent natural areas owned by the Nature Conservancy and the Town of Ridgefield, Connecticut, provide opportunities for illustrating and interpreting cultural themes of our Nation's heritage and provide opportunities for public use and enjoyment.
(b) PURPOSES- The purposes of this Act are--
(1) to preserve a significant site of the tradition of American Impressionism;
(2) to maintain the integrity of a setting that inspired artistic expression and encourages public enjoyment; and
(3) to offer opportunities for the inspirational benefit and education of the American people.
SEC. 4. ESTABLISHMENT OF WEIR FARM NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE.
(a) IN GENERAL- There is established, as a unit of the National Park System, the Weir Farm National Historic Site in the State of Connecticut.
(b) DESCRIPTION- The historic site shall consist of--
(1) the approximately 2-acre core parcel containing the Weir house, studio, and barn; and
(2) the approximately 60 acres and improvements thereon owned by the State of Connecticut;
both as generally depicted on a map entitled `Land Ownership Map, Weir Farm Historic Site', Figure 5, dated October 1989, as contained in the National Park Service Weir Farm Suitability/Feasibility Study, February, 1990. Such map shall be on file and available for public inspection in the appropriate offices of the National Park Service.
SEC. 5. ACQUISITION OF REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY AND SERVICES.
(a) REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY- The Secretary is authorized to acquire by donation, exchange, or purchase with donated or appropriated funds, the lands and improvements within the boundaries of the historic site, except that any such lands and improvements owned by the State of Connecticut may be acquired only by donation. The Secretary may also acquire by the same methods personal property associated with, and appropriate for, the interpretation of the historic site: Provided, That the Secretary may acquire works of art associated with the Weir family, J. Alden Weir, and other artists who lived at or visited the site only by donation or purchase with donated funds.
(b) OTHER PROPERTY, FUNDS, AND SERVICES- The Secretary is authorized to accept and use donated funds, property, and services to carry out this Act.
SEC. 6. ADMINISTRATION OF HISTORIC SITE.
(a) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall administer the historic site in accordance with this Act and the laws generally applicable to units of the National Park System, including the Act entitled `An Act to establish a National Park Service, and for other purposes', approved August 25, 1916 (16 U.S.C. 1 et seq.), and the Act entitled `An Act to provide for the preservation of historic American sites, buildings, objects, and antiquities of national historic significance, and for other purposes', approved August 21, 1935 (16 U.S.C. 461 et seq.), except that the Secretary shall take no action with respect to the 60 acres owned by the State of Connecticut within the boundaries of the historic site until such time as the State has transferred all right, title, and interests therein to the Secretary.
(b) COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS- (1) The Secretary may consult and enter into cooperative agreements with the Weir Farm Heritage Trust, the State of Connecticut, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and other organizations and groups in the development, presentation and funding of art exhibits, resident artist programs, and other appropriate activities related to the preservation, development, and use of the historic site.
(2) The Secretary may consult and enter into cooperative agreements with the Nature Conservancy and the towns of Ridgefield and Wilton for the purpose of coordinating activities on the historic site with activities on the Nature Conservancy's Weir Preserve and lands adjoining the historic site owned by the towns.
(c) EXHIBITS- The Secretary may display, and accept for the purpose of display, works of art associated with J. Alden Weir, the Weir Farm, and the American Impressionist movement, as may be necessary for the interpretation of the historic site.
(d) GENERAL MANAGEMENT PLAN- Within 2 complete fiscal years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs of the United States House of Representatives and to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the United States Senate a general management plan for the historic site. The plan shall be prepared in accordance with section 12(b) of the Act of August 18, 1970 (16 U.S.C. 1a-1 through 1a-7) and other applicable law.
SEC. 7. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act, except that not more than $1,500,000 may be appropriated for the acquisition of real and personal property.
Did You Know?
Painter Julian Alden Weir wanted to build a rural retreat in the Keene Valley area of the Adirondacks, but decided instead that his farm in Branchville, Connecticut, now preserved as Weir Farm National Historic Site, would make a more suitable home for his family.