Stop 6 (Bok Studio and Pond)

Bok Studio and Pond
Bok Studio, ca. 1945

This area of the Research Studio contains the Studio Court with Artist’s residences (to the left), the Main Gallery and Annie Russell Courtyard (in the white building in front of you), and the Bok Studio, now known as Studio 14 (to your right). 

The Bok Guest Cottage is named for the patron of the Research Studio, Mary Curtis Bok, and she would stay in this guest house during her visits. Smith found a ready supporter in Bok, whose wealth and status derived from her family's role in founding and editing the popular magazine Ladies Home Journal. The Boks spent their winters in Florida, and built the Bok Tower Gardens near Lake Wales in 1921, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., also recognized as a National Historic Landmark. Bok eventually contributed more than $300,000 to build and operate the Research Studio over a period of two decades. 

In 1937, Smith began the much anticipated expansion of the Research Studio, building these structures and beginning resident programming at the Center. The “Mary Bok Fellowships” supported five scholarship-funded professional sculptors and painters, hosted as “guest-artists” for the winter season. The fellowships, expected to begin in January 1938, were billed as “an opportunity to work under exceptionally attractive surroundings [with] complete freedom from interruption and [the] opportunity for unrestricted expression in their work.” The artists were invited to stay for four months between January and May, or “merely for a portion of that time,” as there was “no definite term of enrollment.”

This shallow water lily pond you see if front of you is the largest water feature at the Research Studio, leading visitors to the original entry for the gallery and the Annie Russell Courtyard behind the central metal gate.

Bok Studio and Pond
Bok Studio, ca. 1940