“If we only look for it, we are surrounded by the beautiful always. Cherish it, love it. Take it into your hearts and it will be your very life”. —Adelia Armstrong Lutz
“The finish and truth to nature of the work reflect, in a very high degree, to the credit of Miss Armstrong’s artistic ability. She will some day take rank among the greatest of American artists”. —Knoxville Daily Chronicle, January 20, 1886.
Adelia’s Studio is the crown jewel of Historic Westwood. It is where one of Tennessee’s first professional female painters worked, displayed her paintings, inspired her students, hosted the Nicholson Art League and welcomed her closest circle of friends and family.
While Adelia occasionally painted portraits (especially of her children) and landscapes, her favorite subject matter was flowers, especially hollyhocks, which she also grew in her garden at Westwood. Adelia studied at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art and the Corcoran Art Gallery in Washington, D.C. Her works were exhibited at expositions throughout the South and won various awards. Her paintings are currently included in the collections of the Knoxville Museum of Art and the Tennessee State Museum. The collection at Historic Westwood is the largest public gallery of her work with many pieces on permanent loan from the McClung Collection.
Lutz did much of her work at Historic Westwood in her studio, a grand room with a cathedral ceiling and skylights. The walls are painted in Lutz’s preferred color of red and the studio’s fireplace contains tiles painted with the portraits of Lutz’s favorite authors. Adelia was an inaugural member of the storied Nicholson Art League which included other notable local artists such as Lloyd Branson and Catherine Wiley.
Antique Lamp Collection
In addition to Adelia’s artwork, the Studio is home to an impressive collection of antique slag lamps from the collection of John and Nancy Coates. These beautiful lamps (one of which can be seen in the photo below) have beautiful detailing. The Coates rotate the lamps on display throughout the year.
Cynthia Markert Exhibit
Adjacent to Adelia’s Studio is the sun porch where she also did some painting. Today it is home to a stunning piece of art entitled “The Letting Go” by artist Cynthia Markert. The painting was donated to Historic Westwood by Rich and Jane Ray in memory of their daughter Andie, an active local preservationist.