The Silvermine Guild of Artists

After Borglum’s sudden death from appendicitis in 1922, the Silvermine Group of Artists decided to create a larger and more permanent home, which they christened the Silvermine Guild of Artists. The artists had also decided that Borglum’s barn was too small for their expanded operations. The Guild purchased a large barn and had it moved to Silvermine Avenue. This building became the studio, exhibition and performance space for the next two decades. With the creation of the Silvermine Arts Guild, new artists were drawn to the area. Additionally, many of the longtime residents, particularly the Guthrie family, became patrons and benefactors of the Guild. At its founding in 1922, the Guild had 33 Artist Members. By 1927, it had 119 Artist Members, 10 Sustaining Members and 148 Associate Members; by comparison, in 2003 the Guild had over 300 Artist Members. While continuing to focus on the visual arts, the Guild began to become a multidisciplinary arts center, mixing education, performance and community. It is important to note that the Depression produced a number of WPA murals in this area that were painted by Silvermine artists, particularly in Norwalk and New Canaan.