The property is a National Historic Landmark, a federal designation that recognizes its significance as one of the nation’s most important cultural monuments. It is also a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios program.
Built in 1879, the house is typical of the 19th century farmers’ and fishermen’s homes in Springs, a hamlet in the Town of East Hampton. Pollock and Krasner made many changes to the building after moving there. It contains all the furnishings and artifacts that were in the house at the time of Krasner’s death in 1984, some of which were there during Pollock’s lifetime, including his hi-fi phonograph, his jazz record collection, and the artists’ personal library. An original late 1930s painting by Pollock, Composition with Red Arc and Horses, and prints by both artists are on display. The house also features changing exhibitions of artwork related to the Study Center’s mission.
Originally built to store fishing equipment, the small barn once stood directly behind the house, where it blocked the view to Accabonac Creek. Pollock had it moved before converting it as his studio. In this modest building, without heat or artificial light, he painted his most famous poured paintings. He preferred to lay the canvas on the floor and walk around it, applying liquid paint from all four sides in a process of spontaneous creativity.
The studio floor is covered with evidence of this singular process. It documents the evolution of Autumn Rhythm, Convergence, Blue Poles and many of his other masterpieces painted between 1946 and 1952, after which the building was winterized. During that renovation, the floor was covered with a new surface, which protected the colors and gestures that had spilled over the edges of his canvases. That covering was removed in 1987-88, revealing the evidence of Pollock’s most productive and innovative years.
After Pollock’s death in 1956, Krasner began to use the barn studio, and worked there for the rest of her life. She preferred to tack her canvases on the walls, where the lively gestures and brilliant colors found in her expressive abstractions are still visible. An exhibition of photographs and text panels outlines both artists’ lives and careers, and their tools and materials are on display.