277 Main Street
Norwich VT 05055
George Kenneth Shopen House and Studio, 1964
Thanks to ncmodernist.org for the photographs.
Like the Haile house, the Hunters designed this house to take advantage of views, nestling it into the side of the hill. Clerestory windows bring in the light and provide contrast to the walls of windows. A single bedroom connected to a vast expanse of living area with windows to bring the outside’s natural beauty right into their living space. They intended to build a living, breathing piece of art.
An art studio was an essential component of their design.
The studio was designed to maximize the benefit of indirect lighting while still delivering privacy. It has ten foot ceilings and window walls starting at four feet above the floor and continuing to the ceiling on the East and the West sides. There are no windows on the side that faces the main house. As a result, although relatively close by, the two structures offer complete mutual privacy. In recent years the studio has served as a rental property.
Ken Shopen was Professor of Art at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1931 to 1945. The U.S. War Department hired Shopen as an artist and teacher in France in 1945. He exhibited his work yearly at the Art Institute of Chicago and also wrote as an art critic. He taught art at Dartmouth in the summers. He and his wife, Sylvia, retired to Norwich. Shopen’s papers are at the Archives of American Art.