In the early 1950s, painters Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner were known to encourage their artist friends to move to Springs, where they lived, in the less expensive, northern part of the tony town of East Hampton.
One day Pollock noticed a house for sale about 2.5 miles from his own and called his friend and fellow Abstract Expressionist Nicolas Carone, who soon moved into the place with his wife and twins in 1954. Carone and Pollock then transformed an old chicken coop into a studio apartment, adding an old brick floor and a potbellied little stove to soothe the winter cold.
Like Pollock and Krasner, Carone was part of the New York School of painters, and he painted some of his best-known works in East Hampton, including images in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Carone’s wife was also an artist; she owned a stencil business and decorated the cottage with several of her own stencils, some of which survive, notably on the stairs. On the risers of the steps are poet and playwright John Howard Payne’s words “Home Sweet Home”, which was written about his childhood home in East Hampton, which is now known as the Home Sweet Home Museum.
Carone and his wife divorced in 1964 and he moved back to New York, renting the house and studio to another Abstract Expressionist artist, Willem de Kooning. Although it has changed hands a few times, the former Carone property is now available on the open market for the first time in a century with an asking price of just under $1.75 million. The property is available through Rebekah C Baker of Sotheby’s International Realty.
With three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms on approximately 1,400 square feet, what the 1838 farmhouse lacks in size is more than made up for in charm. Due to its historical significance, there are some restrictions on what can be done at home. For example, the fireplace must remain, and the house and studio cannot be moved. Notably, however, the listing states that there are “possibilities for multi-generational compounds – two more adjacent one-acre lots could be available for a total of a three-lot compound.” All of these would have a nice view of the bay.
Considering how quaint and wonderfully preserved the interiors are, it’s a relief that they should remain fairly intact. There are old beams, old floors, and the original bread oven and wood box are next to the fireplace. The studio, approximately 650 square feet, includes a sink and toilet and an outdoor shower. The main chalet also has an outdoor shower, near a slate patio surrounded by mature trees. The artistic complex is completed by a garage/workshop for one car.
Interested? The market may cool due to inflation and rising interest rates, but prices in Springs continue to rise. This location therefore presents an excellent opportunity for a deep-pocketed caretaker with a creative bent, who will further enhance the property’s legacy of artist owners and residents.