A pastoral property in the heart of the artist community in Springs that was just listed for $4.6 million was once home to Mercedes Matter, the co-founder of American Artists and the New York Studio School founder. Kathy Konzet of Sotheby’s International Realty represents the new listing.
Even though Matter passed away more than 20 years ago, the interior of her former 1950s home still reflects her artistic aesthetic. The renovated 6,000-square-foot home, set on two acres, features high ceilings throughout, a professional kitchen, two fireplaces and a panoramic water view from the balconies. There are a total of six bedrooms and five-and-a-half baths.
One of the two spacious living rooms was originally Matter’s private art studio — she was a painter and her work is included in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. The space would still serve as the perfect studio thanks to the natural light that flows in from double-height ceiling skylights.
In the late 1930s, Matter was an original member of the American Abstract Artists, a group that promoted an understanding of abstract art and helped develop it. She was married to Herbert Matter, the Swiss graphic designer and photographer, and the couple was friends with fellow artists who took up in Springs, such as Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner and Willem de Kooning.
In 1964, Mercedes Matter founded the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture after she criticized art schools and continued to teach there until she died in 2001.
“Mrs. Matter’s passion for political and social advocacy turned to Long Island issues about 20 years ago when she started staying in East Hampton year round,” The New York Times wrote after her death. “Her causes included overcrowding, ground water pollution and the restriction of beach vehicles to prevent environmental damage.”