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3 - “A Reality of Glorious Attainment”

Amy Beach’s MacDowell Colony1

from Part I - Historical Context

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 October 2023

E. Douglas Bomberger
Affiliation:
Elizabethtown College, Pennsylvania
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Summary

The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire figured prominently in Amy Beach’s life. Her friendship with the artist colony’s founder, Marian MacDowell, ensured Beach an open invitation; she held eighteen residencies between 1921 and 1941. The colony offered Beach the perfect environment for her creative work: a direct experience of nature and the uninterrupted solitude of a studio of her own amid a community of creative workers. Beach was at the height of her career during these years. She mentored many of the younger women composers who came to work at the colony and composed much of her best music there. Beach became a devoted supporter of the MacDowell Colony. She organized benefit concerts and spoke passionately on its behalf whenever she had the chance. On her death, she left the rights to her music to the colony, a gift that continues to earn income today.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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