There’s nothing quite like walking in the footsteps of famous historical figures, an experience made all the more awe-inspiring when you visit their former homes. It’s particularly thrilling to see where artists now considered geniuses once retreated to be mere mortals, and chances are some of your favorite artworks may have been created under that very roof.
Below, House Beautiful has rounded up a list of former homes turned museums that you can visit to learn more about celebrated artists’ life and times, including the onetime residences of Frida Kahlo, Claude Monet, Jackson Pollock, Salvador Dalí, Frederic Leighton, Edward Hopper, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Frederic Edwin Church.
Salvador Dalí House-Museum, Portlligat, Catalonia, Spain
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Located in the village of Portlligat, in Catalonia, Spain, the Salvador Dalí House-Museum is where the famed surrealist artist lived from 1930 to 1982. The most noticeable design element of this abode is definitely the many sizable egg sculptures on the roof, which is likely a nod to Dalí’s obsession with ova. Needless to say, we’ve never seen them used as decor before!
Frida Kahlo Museum, Mexico City, Mexico
Sometimes called the Blue House, the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City, Mexico, is where the famed artist was born, in 1907, and it’s also where she died, in 1954. Kahlo’s husband and fellow artist Diego Rivera lived here as well, and today, artworks by both Kahlo and Rivera are on display in this historic home.
Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, East Hampton, New York
East Hampton’s Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center was once the residence of notable artist Jackson Pollock and his wife, Lee Krasner. The couple lived here from 1945 to 1956, when Pollock passed away following a car crash. Today, the quaint shingle-style house is a National Historic Landmark that is part of the Stony Brook Foundation.
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Leighton House Museum, London, England
One of the more opulent homes on this list is the Leighton House Museum in London, England, which artist Frederic Leighton lived in and had built by architect and designer George Aitchison. The resulting structure took nearly 30 years to build, spanning the years 1866 to 1895.
House of Claude Monet, Giverny, France
The picturesque gardens of the House of Claude Monet in Giverny, France, are what inspired the artist’s famed Water Lilies painting, as well as hundreds of other works. Unable to make it to France? Don’t worry—there’s a virtual tour of the house on its website.
Edward Hopper House Museum & Study Center, Nyack, New York
Located in Nyack, New York, the Edward Hopper House Museum & Study Center is both an art center and a historic home. Hopper was born here, in 1882, and he lived there until 1910, when he moved to New York City. But he owned this house until his death in 1967. The dwelling’s original structure was a work of Greek Revival architecture, and it later welcomed a Queen Anne–style addition.
Musée Renoir, Cagnes-sur-Mer, France
The Musée Renoir in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France, is where Pierre-Auguste Renoir lived from his birth, in 1841, until his death, in 1919. This dwelling boasts scenic views of the French Riviera and lush landscaping galore, so we can certainly see why the celebrated artist painted numerous homes in the surrounding area over the course of his career.
Olana State Historic Site, Hudson, New York
Built in 1872, Olana State Historic Site is a Hudson, New York, gem that was once home to landscape painter Frederic Edwin Church. Located on 250 acres, this historic abode boasts a mix of design influences, including Victorian architecture and Middle Eastern–inspired interiors.
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