City Life/Country Life
George Laurence Nelson & F. Luis Mora, Former NYC residents and founding members of The Kent Art Association
This is the large gallery where George Laurence Nelson displayed his artwork when he lived here. Featured in this room are several garments that once belonged to Laurence and his wife Helen, as well as several paintings which portray them and his mother, in various city and country costumes. Nelson’s mother, Alice Kerr-Nelson Hirschberg, was descended from members of England’s upper class.
An accomplished artist, she was considered by William Merritt Chase to be THE woman of the 19th Century, and her carriage, demeanor and clothing clearly demonstrate her status. Helen Nelson was also elegant, but equally comfortable in the country or city. Fondly remembered by many of Kent’s older residents, Helen was known for always being immaculately dressed, even when working in her beloved garden at Seven Hearths.
A photograph of Helen, in her later years, shows her sitting in the garden, very much the lady, wearing her ever-present elbow length gray kid gloves. The Nelsons clearly epitomized the colony of transplanted New York artists whose cultural descendants still flock to Kent and the surrounding Litchfield hills.