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The Will Low House & Studio was the Lawrence Park home of artist Will Hicok Low (1853-1932.) He resided there with his first wife, Berthe (1853-1909), a translator of English literature into French and after her death, his second wife, Mary Fairchild Low (1858-1946), a landscape and portrait painter. Designed by architect William A. Bates, it was one of the first five residences built in Lawrence Park. Completed in 1891, the Shingle Style home is two-and-one-half stories and exhibits medieval diamond-paned windows, a gambrel roof on what was the attached studio, and a fieldstone chimney. An accomplished muralist and figure painter, Will Low lived and worked in his home in Lawrence Park for over thirty years, finishing his last painting only hours before he died. The house was lived in continuously by artists until 1965, and remains a private residence. The Will Low House & Studio is included in the Lawrence Park Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

artwork by Will Low

artwork by Will Low

Will Low House & Studio (Lawrence Park Historic District)

Nov 1979

Will Low working on a canvas in his art studio

Will Low working on a canvas in his art studio

Image of Will Low House and Studio driveway

Image of Will Low House and Studio driveway

The original design plans for Lawrence Park, as conceived by namesake William Van Duzer Lawrence, focused on ways to emphasize and accentuate the natural beauty and topography of this hilly area of Bronxville, New York. Another early goal was to attract to artists and writers to establish an artist’s colony. 

Otto Bacher (1859-1909) was a well known painter, etcher, and illustrator, whose home and studio were located on Lookout Avenue in Lawrence Park. According to artist Will Low, it was a “chance visit” that Low paid to his friend Bacher that inspired Low to also make Lawrence Park his home and place of work. In 1896, the same year that Low had first come to Lawrence Park, he and his French wife, Berthe, purchased a large home and studio on Prescott Avenue. Berthe Low was an English-French translator, whose works include the French translation of the classic novel Treasure Island. After Berthe’s death, Low married Mary Fairchild MacMonnies Low, a successful landscape and portrait painter, who moved into the home along with her two daughters, Berthe Helene and Marjorie Eudora, from her prior marriage to sculptor Frederick MacMonnies. 

Will Hicok Low was born in 1853 in Albany, NY. At the age of twenty, he traveled to Paris to study at the École des Beaux Arts in the atelier of Jean Leon Gerome. Upon his return to the United States, he joined the Society of American Artists and started receiving commissions to paint murals such as those at the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, the Albany State Education Department building, and private mansions. Low's art is still available to the public today. For example, Love Disarmed (1889) is hanging at the Brooklyn Museum and his Self Portrait (1876) is a part of the collection at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Low was also a successful illustrator of novels and works of literature. He worked in the Neoclassical Style and his pictures of New England and for the author John Keats brought him prominence. Low was an accomplished stained glass designer. In addition, he taught at Cooper Union and for the National Academy of Design in New York City, an organization to which he belonged.

The Will Low House & Studio is a typical example of the early homes built in Lawrence Park. Designed by William A. Bates, who was involved in the plans for over thirty five homes in the district, the two-and-one-half story Shingle Style home on Prescott Avenue exhibits undulating surfaces, medieval diamond-paned fenestration, and a gable roof. The house was lived in continuously by artists until 1965. It remains a private residence. The Will Low House & Studio is included in the Lawrence Park Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. 

A quote from Will Low in1912 appears in Lawrence Park Artists & Writer, “Exhibition catalogues now bear Bronxville addresses so frequently that it may not be long before the cities sit up, take notice and gravely note the existence of a ‘Bronxville school’ in much the same manner as the ‘Barbizon school’ is referred to.”

  1. Geselbracht, Raymond H. “A Finding Aid to the Collection in the Bronxville History Center, Village of Bronxville, at the Bronxville Public Library.” Bronxville History Center Artifact Collection. Bronxville HIstory Center. 2020. Revised 2021. 
  2. Hoagland, Loretta. Lawrence Park: Bronxville’s Turn-of-the-Century Art Colony. Bronx, NY: Fordham University Press. 1992. 
  3. “Lawrence Park Artists & Writers" pamphlet. Bronxville, NY. Privately printed, 1967.  
  4. “Lawrence Park Historic District #80002788.” National Register of Historic Places. United States Department of the Interior/National Park Service. 2005. 
  5. “The Late Will H. Low Eulogized by Friends: Canvas by Artist, Signed on Day Before He Died, Dedicated in Bronxville School.” The New York Times. Jan. 8. 1933. 
  6. “The Rotunda Paintings of the New York State Education Building.” New York State Education Department website. Accessed July 24, 2020.
  7. “Will Hicok Low.” The Bronxville Historical Conservancy website. Accessed July 24, 2020.
  8. “Will Low.” Historical Treasures of Westchester County virtual archives. Accessed July 24, 2020.
  9. Williams, Gray. Picturing Our Past: National Register Sites in Westchester County. Westchester County Historical Society. 2003.
Image Sources(Click to expand)

Bronxville Historical Conservancy

National Register of Historic Places nomination form

McKinney Library, Albany Institute as found in Gray Williams’ Picturing Our Past book

Picturing Our Past book