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Prairie Paradise

Where do artists go when they want to get away from it all? For well over a century, architect Howard Van Doren Shaw's summer retreat in Lake Forest was a prized location.

Situated on 50 acres of prairie woodland in this peaceful North Shore community, the Shaw house welcomed powerhouse poets William Butler Yeats and Carl Sandberg.

Since 1976, when Shaw's granddaughter turned the summer home into the artists space under the auspices of the Ragdale Foundation, a regular stream of artists have been coming here for quiet inspiration.

Hosting up to a dozen artists at a time, the retreat helps creators channel their energies, share ideas and gives them ample room to translate their passions into stunning works.

Ragdale opens its doors to the public several times a year to share the work of its poets and writers with the public as well as taking artists out on the road to shows all along the North Shore and Chicago.

Address

1260 North Green Bay Rd., Lake Forest, IL 60045

Click here for directions

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Visit another suburban Chicago refuge for the arts- in Evanston.

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Stay a while at Ragdale - where painters, photographers, poets, dancers and musicians have sought refuge from the distractions of the modern world.

 

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The Ragdale Barnhouse, which became part of the Ragdale grounds once more in 1980. Photo courtesy of Ragdale Foundation.

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Architect Howard Van Doren Shaw's daughter Sylvia Shaw Judson sculpted "Bird Girl," which was made famous by its appearance on the cover of the book and film versions of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Photo courtesy of Ragdale Foundation.

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A garden on the grounds. Photo courtesy of Ragdale Foundation.

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Artists share their work with each other during an informal exhibition. Photo courtesy of Ragdale Foundation.

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Artist Audrey Niffenegger at work. Photo courtesy of Ragdale Foundation.

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The Ragdale house. Photo courtesy of Ragdale Foundation.

 

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