Smith laid out his guidelines for living at the Research Studio in a “welcoming” brochure, though his wry humor showed through in his admonitions to “remember that you make your own bed and lie in whatever you make.” Privacy for each resident was ensured with an “awning shade” in the screen door of the studios, so that “when lowered, will tell the world that you want to be left utterly alone.” Breakfast was served for one hour each morning, with lunch at 12:30 and dinner at 6:30.
The building in front of you was once the garage, attached to the dining area and original kitchen. The concrete courtyard was originally built as a driveway with access to the garage and the original metal gates remain.
Smith wrote that: “The Research Studio is a workplace for painters and sculptors. It has for its purpose the encouragement of American artists toward an adventurous and experimental approach to the art problems of today…In its monastery-like enclosure, its location, as well as the design and arrangement of buildings and courtyards, the Research Studio has been planned to insure an atmosphere of creative of work and contemplation.”
After Smith's death the stewardship of the property remained in flux. In the late 1960s, a loyal band of artists and friends of Smith worked with the City of Maitland to save the complex from demolition.
As you make your way to the main entrance of the present Maitland Art Center (renamed in the 1960s) notice the iron gate and sculptural additions. Though Smith wanted the complex to be secluded from the public, the addition of galleries soon allowed the outside world in to experience the art being produced. What other museums have you been to that are dedicated to modern and contemporary art?