Speaker: Lisa Stone 

This presentation concerns artist-built environments, a current term for artists whose homes, studios, and in many cases gardens or surrounding landscapes are singular works of art in their own right. The loosely defined genre includes wide-ranging expressions such as spiritual, devotional and mystical sites, sui generis architectural inventions, sites as teaching platforms, expressions of loneliness and survival, sculptural, spatial panoramas, and artist-built sites of conscience, among others. Many such place-makers occupy ordinary, vernacular realms and have been overlooked by the academic mainframe: artists of color, women, economically disadvantaged people, farmers and residents of rural areas, urban and ghetto dwellers, first and second generation immigrants, and veterans. Stone will present an overview of historic artist-built environments and will discuss a few with particular relevance to the Historic Artists’ Homes & Studios program, including two sites that will join HAHS in 2022. 


Lisa Stone is an independent curator and preservation consultant. She was a senior lecturer in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism, and curator of the Roger Brown Study Collection, both at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, until retiring in 2020. She earned a Master of Science in Historic Preservation at SAIC. She works with Don Howlett on preservation planning and implementation through Preservation Services, Inc. She represented the RBSC for the Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios from 2000 to 2020, and currently serves on the HAHS Advisory Committee. She’s co-author, with Jim Zanzi, of Sacred Spaces and Other Places: A Guide to the Grottos and Sculptural Environments of the Upper Midwest (SAIC Press, 1993), a study exploring the impact of the Grotto of the Redemption (West Bend, IA) on builders in the region.