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Out & About: Attend a screening of new film about the Corinsh Art Colony documentary premieres

  • Liz Sauchelli. Copyright (c) Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to

  • Naturalist Ernest Harold Baynes, pictured with Jimmie the black bear cub, is featured in the documentary "Enchanted Hills: Legacy of an Art Colony." (Courtesy photograph)

Valley News Calendar Editor
Published: 10/28/2019 4:35:18 PM
Modified: 10/28/2019 4:35:12 PM

HANOVER — A feature-length documentary about the Cornish Art Colony, titled Enchanted Hills: Legacy of an Art Colony, will premiere at Dartmouth College’s Loew Theater from 7-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6.

The screening is free to attend.

The feature-length film, directed by Norwich filmmaker Nora Jacobson and conceived and produced by Fern Meyers, follows a shorter documentary that was created for Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site last year.

“We always had in mind two films,” Meyers, of Etna, said. “It’s a much more complete story of the Cornish Colony.”

The documentary focuses on naturalist Ernest Harold Baynes, forester Benton MacKaye, artist Maxfield Parrish, sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, playwright and poet Percy MacKaye, composer Arthur Farwell, and landscape architect Charles Platt. It’s about an hour long. Next Wednesday’s screening also will include about a half-hour of extras. To create the film, Meyers and others raised about $150,000.

“It’s an important story and somebody needed to tell it, but the challenge was how to hang it together with so many interesting people, several of who deserves a movie in their own right,” Meyers said.

The Cornish Art Colony began in 1885 when sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens moved to Cornish. Writers, naturalists, composers, musicians, performers and artists began to gather there. The documentary includes music written by Cornish Colony composers that recorded specifically for the film.

“I think people will be astonished quite honestly on how many large movements started in this little tiny area and how important these people are,” Meyers said, citing the Appalachian Trail, the National Park System and Audubon bird sanctuaries, as ideas that sprang from people who were at the colony. “The very first bird sanctuary is in Meriden, New Hampshire, and it spawned hundreds of others.”

The project has been decades in the making for Meyers, who became intrigued by the Cornish Colony’s history after performing during a concert at Saint-Gaudens.

“I was just passionate to learn everything I could,” Meyers said.

She hopes that those who see the film develop a deeper appreciation for the history that took place at the Cornish Colony.

“I want them to be inspired to go and visit,” Meyers said, “mostly to feel pride about living here where all of this happened.”

Editor’s note: Copies of the film can be purchased for $19.95 by contacting Saint-Gaudens at 603-675-2175 or emailing Meyers at Liz Sauchelli can be reached at or 603-727-3221.

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