WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced her effort to designate Yaddo, a 400-acre artists’ community in Saratoga, as a National Historic Landmark.
“Saratoga’s own Yaddo has a legacy of artistic tradition that sparked a century’s worth of creativity, and should be considered a National Historic Landmark,” Senator Gillibrand said. “To this day, Yaddo continues to house artists on the same grounds that were once home to some of America’s influential artists. Landmark status would give Yaddo the recognition it deserves in America’s history, and help attract more visitors and strengthen our tourism industry.”
“This is a crucial time for Yaddo as we enter our second century. As the first Artists’ Retreat in the nation, and one of the most internationally renowned to this day, Yaddo looks forward to the possibility of being designated a National Historic Landmark.” Said Elaina Richardson, President of Yaddo. “We have played an essential role in the shaping of our national culture (originating Aaron Copland’s seminal Festivals of American Music and offering a creative home to Langston Hughes, Carson McCullers, Philip Guston, Martin Puryear, Saul Bellow and more than 6,000 other equally talented writers and artists).”
Yaddo offers residencies to professional artists that work in choreography, film, literature, musical composition, painting, performance art, photography, printmaking, sculpture and video. Since Yaddo’s opening in 1900, artists who have worked there have collectively won 66 Pulitzer Prizes, 27 MacArthur Fellowships, 61 National Book Awards, 40 National Book Critics Circle Awards, 108 Rome Prizes, 51 Whiting Writer’s Awards and a Nobel Peace Prize in Literature, and countless other honors.
In a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Senator Gillibrand emphasized Yaddo’s place in American art history – giving refuge and inspiration to budding artists, and offering beautiful recreational space to local residents and visiting tourists.