Wright’s studio, surrounded by windows and the wooded landscape. Photo courtesy of Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center.
Dwell Magazine recently brought to our attention this magical modernist gem, located in the Putnam County town of Garrison, New York. Manitoga, the house, studio and 75-acre wooded garden of mid-century industrial designer Russel Wright (1904-1976), is one of the few 20th century modern homes open to the public in New York State.
A firm believer in the idea that “good design is for everyone,” Russel Wright was a pioneer of the idea of modern living in America. Best known for his organic yet elegant American Modern dinnerware collection, his became a household name–one which could be found on the underside of each of the over 200 million pieces that were sold between 1939 and 1959. But the designer’s lesser-known–yet no less remarkable–effort can be seen in the home and surrounding landscape–including a large abandoned granite quarry–which were acquired by Russel and Mary Wright in 1942. Now a National Historic Landmark, and virtually unchanged save ongoing improvements and renovations, the Manitoga/Russel Wright Design Center hosts tours, hikes, performances and an artists’ residency.