veranda is a sanctuary for rest and renewal. It offers a vantage
point on a corner of creation, and a place to fall in love with
The veranda was the place of social resort for the whole family
in the summer months and these warm associations continue to
color our feeling for this Victorian American setting.
Through his paintings, and the writings of Andrew Jackson Downing,
artist and writer Robert Selkowitz unfolds his vision of the
restorative and therapeutic qualities of the veranda. He follows
the idealism embodied in the architecture of the veranda through
the creation of the network of Chautauqua communities, enclaves
of verandahed cottages built as restorative sanctuaries for
the human spirit.
Chautauqua communities provided the artist in Robert Selkowitz
with motifs for his paintings, and provided the writer in him
with a vision of spiritual and moral aspiration for life at
its best. These communities united the arts, education, religion
and recreation, providing a utopian experience to generations
of Americans. In the decades after the Civil War more than 200
Chautauquas were established and Selkowitz takes us on a tour
of 21 sites which are vibrantly active more than a century after
slide lecture program includes more than 60 paintings and hundreds
of photographs of Chautauqua communities including:
Chautauqua Institution (NY), 1000 Island Park (NY), Round Lake
(NY), Bayview (MI), Ocean Park (ME), Ocean Grove (NJ), Mt Tabor
(NJ), Monteagle (TN), Lakeside (OH), Fountain Park (IN), Boulder
(CO), DeFuniak Springs (FL), Mt Gretna (PA), Mt. Tabor (NJ),
South Seaville (NJ), Cape May Point (NJ), and Silver Bay (NY).
Also featured is the acclaimed enclave of Seaside (FL), an instance
of Chautauqua inspiring a new model in town planning.
Robert Selkowitz was a Contributing Editor of "Victorian
Homes" magazine and has photographed and written articles
about a number of the most significant Chautauqua sites. His
interest in the veranda as a motif for his paintings began in
his work set at Cape May, New Jersey and followed through into
the Chautauqua enclave's settings by lake, sea and mountain.
Selkowitz' paintings have been widely published and collected.