The Gentleman's Farm: Elegant Country House Living
Written by Laurie Ossman and Debra A. McClane, Photographed by Walter Smalling
“This sumptuous volume features gracious country homes that blend the very best of vernacular tradition, classical architecture, and high-style elegance. For four centuries, the ideal of the gentleman’s farm has inspired Virginians to create extraordinary homes on landscapes of unparalleled beauty. Often places of retreat, these houses display the virtues of the very best of American historic and classical architecture, incorporating harmonious proportion, elegant interiors, and thoughtful design in traditional styles. Each one in its way a model of taste and beauty, the houses of The Gentleman’s Farm are an expression of an American ideal of domestic happiness, the very picture of home, which has served to influence the style of residential building across the country. The houses featured, including a centuries-old home for a president as well as recently built residences, present a stylish, traditional aesthetic, hallmarks of which include warm, wood-paneled libraries, plaster walls hung with paintings of horse riding scenes, classical motifs, lovingly wrought architectural detail, screened porches, large windows that frame inspiring vistas of the country landscape—all those things that say home to the country and suburban gentleman and gentlewoman”
Laurie Ossman is director of museum affairs at the Preservation Society of Newport County, Newport, Rhode Island, author of Great Houses of the South, and coauthor of Carrère & Hastings: The Masterworks.
Debra A. McClane is an architectural historian and preservationist and the author of Botetourt County, Virginia, Revisited.
Walter Smalling is a widely published architectural photographer whose books include Uncommon Vernacular: The Early Houses of Jefferson County, West Virginia, 1735–1835.