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Virginia Women in History - Shenandoah Valley Region
Item 7 of 7
This is a contributing entry for Virginia Women in History - Shenandoah Valley Region and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.
An accomplished artist and musician, Christine Herter Kendall cofounded the Garth Newel Music Center at the site of her home in Bath County.

  • Photograph of Christine Herter Kendall, courtesy of Garth Newell Music Center, Bath County, Virginia.
  • The Library of Virginia honored Christine Herter Kendall as one of its Virginia Women in History in 2014.
  • The Virginia Women in History Digital Trail is made possible by the Library of Virginia and American Evolution: Virginia to America, 1619–2019.
Christine Herter Kendall (August 25, 1890–June 22, 1981) was born into a musical and artistic family that regularly hosted evenings of chamber music and Sunday afternoon organ concerts in their New York City home. She studied art in New York and Paris before enrolling at Yale University where she earned a BA in 1915. She received the National Arts Club's John G. Agar Prize for one of her paintings in 1922. At Yale she studied with portraitist William Sergeant Kendall, whom she married. The couple moved to Bath County, Virginia, purchased a 114-acre estate, and built their home, Garth Newel, where they hosted small concerts, and continued to paint and exhibit their work.

After her husband's death in 1938, Kendall remained active in the local arts community. She cofounded the Bath County Regional Art Show in 1964. In 1973 Kendall and members of the Rowe String Quartet established the Garth Newel Music Center for the study and performance of chamber music.

She bequeathed her home to the music center, which provides the only residential program in Virginia for the study and performance of chamber music. Today, the Garth Newel Music Center offers more than sixty concerts a year as well as an annual Virginia Blues and Jazz Festival. It is also the home of the Allegheny Mountain String Project, a music education program, and the Young Artists Fellowship Program, an intensive four-week chamber music study and performance experience for string players and pianists.

Nominated by Lee Elliott and Michael Wildasin, Garth Newel Music Center, Hot Springs.

Reprinted with permission of the Library of Virginia.