Paine Art Center & Gardens


Nathan and Jessie Paine created an estate that reflects pride in their English heritage and Wisconsin home. In 1925, they commissioned Bryant Fleming, an architect from Ithaca, New York, to design a Tudor Revival-style country estate. Both Nathan and Jessie’s ancestors were English, which likely inspired their selection of this architectural style and much of the interior design and furnishings. Architect Bryant Fleming varied the house’s interior and exterior architectural features, such as arches, doorways, columns, window panes, and chimney stacks, to give it the appearance of being built over three centuries in evolving English styles. Much of the estate’s architecture, décor, artworks, and landscaping derives from English country houses while utilizing and accentuating the natural resources and beauty of Wisconsin. The rooms and hallways of the Paine mansion display many items from Nathan and Jessie Kimberly Paines’ collection of fine art and decorative objects, most notably, French Barbizon and American landscape paintings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, primarily purchased in the mid-1920’s. The estate’s gardens also feature several sculptures as focal points of the outdoor “galleries.” While a majority of the collection was acquired by the Paines, it has also grown substantially through donations and purchases while continuing to reflect the subjects and spirit of the founder’s original gift. The Paine estate features twenty garden areas for public enjoyment and education. In concert with the historic architecture, the garden designs create outdoor “rooms” showcasing a wide variety of plants. Like the Paine mansion’s rooms and galleries, the gardens are designed to create a variety of intimate and grand settings. Set against the backdrop of the mansion, the gardens showcase perennials that are especially hardy in Wisconsin’s climate as well as trees, shrubs and wildflowers native to the state. Displays of annuals and bulbs change each year and present new varieties and unusual combinations to inspire every level of garden enthusiast.



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  • Quick Info: Capacity 200, four acres of botanical gardens, historic venue
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