At Flanders Nature Center in Woodbury: Program Will Explore the Life of Natalie Van Vleck

The life and work of Natalie Van Vleck will be explored in a program at 7 p.m. Friday, February 21, at Flanders Nature Center.

WOODBURY — The life and work of Flanders Nature Center and Land Trust founder Natalie Van Vleck will be the topic of a lecture and presentation by curator Marc Chabot and members of the Flanders Art Committee at 7 p.m. Friday, February 21, in the historic studio, 5 Church Hill Rd.

An artist, farmer, businesswoman and environmentalist, Natalie Van Vleck was also a woman of mystery with a fascinating history. Born in 1901 in New York City to well-to-do parents, she developed a talent for art at an early age, evolving into a well regarded artist of her time.

A rugged individualist with a well-developed sense of self, Ms.Van Vleck was not desirous of public fame or commercial success in the art world. Just as she did not conform to any one school in her artistic style, she also did not conform to feminine sensibilities, cutting her hair short and preferring men’s clothing. She painted and created for her own satisfaction.

In 1926, her parents bought a farm and farmhouse along Flanders Road in Woodbury. Ms. Van Vleck had an art studio and a carpentry shop built near her parents’ home. It was there where much of her artwork was created.

The program will offer an opportunity to revisit Ms. Van Vleck’s work, hear about ongoing research and Flanders’ hopes and aspirations for the future.

Mr. Chabot will speak about her role in early 20th-century American Modernist art, some challenges faced in unearthing or verifying new information, and discuss tantalizing “lost works” by the founder, known only from cryptic catalogue entries or tiny archival photos.

There is a fee.

Those interested in attending are asked to preregister at www.flandersnaturecenter.org or call 203-263-3711, ext. 12, for more information.

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