Doris Andrews

Doris Andrews and her husband Sperry were the last residents of Weir Farm. Doris specialized in watercolors and pen and ink. During her lifetime, Doris saw many developments spring up around the farm’s borders, and she became concerned that Weir Farm would also suffer that fate. Along with Cora Weir Burlingham, Doris organized the group, Citizens to Preserve Weir Farm. She also took to her typewriter, writing letter after letter to lawmakers, artists, and art historians, heralding the importance of saving this site. In 1990, Doris achieved her goal when Weir Farm was designated a national historic site. She, and her husband Sperry Andrews, lived out the rest of their years in the house, enjoying the site that she had worked tirelessly to preserve.

 
A man and a women standing in front of a painting.
Doris and Sperry Andrews

NPS Photo

 

Doris Bass Andrews grew up in Kentucky, and studied watercolor painting once she had relocated to New York City. Upon sharing an easel during a class at the Art Students League with fellow student Sperry Andrews, Doris met her future husband. The two were married in 1947 and moved to the Branchville farm ten years later. Although Doris' main focus during her residence was her family and the preservation of the farm, she did continue to paint aspects of the landscape with her watercolors.

 
A black and white photo of a women sitting in a chair with a man standing behind her.
Sperry and Doris Andrews

NPS Photo

Like Dorothy Weir Young before her, Doris vowed to maintain the Weir House and her 12 plus acres in as historical a manner as was possible. She wanted people to experience what life must have been like for Julian Alden Weir and his family, and therefore made no major changes to the house or grounds and lived with all the furniture that was originally in the house. People have often commented that going through the Weir House while Doris lived there was like going through a time warp. This is exactly what Doris wanted.

Although Doris grasped the importance of Weir Farm, there were many people who did not, and regarded the property as prime land for new housing developments. In her lifetime, she saw many of these developments spring up around the borders of the farm, and her concern that Weir Farm would soon fall victim to the same, prompted her to act. Along with Cora Weir Burlingham, her next-door neighbor, Doris organized the group, Citizens to Preserve Weir Farm. She also took to her typewriter, writing letter after letter to lawmakers, artists, art historians, and land-use groups, heralding the importance of saving a site with such historical significance. As Doris said, "There is no one of importance in the state of Connecticut or elsewhere that I have not contacted for his or her support. Everyone who needs to know about Weir Farm has gotten the word."

In 1977, Doris received the Connecticut Nature Conservancy's White Oak Award for her dedication to the preservation of Weir Farm. In 1990, the farm became a national historic site, and Doris had achieved success. She, and her husband, lived out the rest of their years in the house, observing the daily visitors who came to enjoy the site that she had worked tirelessly to preserve.

 
A painting of brown barn.

Doris Andrews Artwork Gallery

Doris Andrews specialized in watercolors and pen and ink. Click to see more of Doris's watercolors.

Sperry Andrews (1917-2005)

Sperry Andrews (1917-2005)

During his 48 year residency, Andrews made thousands of paintings of both interiors and exteriors of Weir Farm.

A close up painting of a man.

Meet the Artists

Learn about the prominent artists and their family members who lived and worked here.

Last updated: September 13, 2020

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Wilton , CT 06897

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