The nearly 14-acre property, known to its thousands of visitors as Buckhorn Sculpture Park, contains eight structures, including a sprawling 1930s main house and 9,200 square feet of museum-quality exhibit space. The property is priced at $8.5 million and is listed with Houlihan Lawrence brokers Mary Palmerton and Jody Rosen.
The Mallins have owned the property for approximately 40 years. Joel, a lawyer, and Sherry, an entrepreneur-turned-options trader, first met when they were high school students and then reconnected after divorcing a first spouse a week apart, without him. to know.
Joel had purchased the property as a weekend home about a year before his divorce. The new couple were able to quickly appropriate it.
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“It was very beautiful,” Sherry said. “People before us had reworked the land a lot. It has been remodeled and redone, which is why our property is quite different from our neighbors; it has been redeveloped into a beautiful site.”
At the time of their meeting, Joel had an extensive collection of surrealist art. Sherry, by her own admission, “knew absolutely nothing about art”.
That changed quickly. Over time, the duo began to build an increasingly contemporary and avant-garde body of artwork, including pieces from acclaimed 20th-century titans like Sol Lewitt and Richard Serra and contemporary stars like Anish. Kapoor.
As their collection grew, the limitations of the 5,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, five-bathroom main house became increasingly apparent. “Our whole little house had a lot of glass, and glass isn’t very art-friendly,” Sherry explains. So around 2000, they built a structure they call their “art barn.” It has, she continues, “all the specs you need to create a museum.”
In addition to the main house and the art barn, six other structures are on the property, including a large one-room house which is attached to the main structure by a porte-cochere. There is also a caretaker’s house, two independent gites, a pool house with its own kitchen and bathroom, and a studio above the garage of the main house.
The property has two wine cellars, one for red, one for white. While the white wine cellar has a sign clearly indicating which wines are suitable for the couple’s children and grandchildren to drink casually, the red wine cellar has a caretaker in the form of artist Tony Matelli’s famous sleepwalker, a hyper-realistic statue of a man in his underwear, blindly reaching forward. The couple placed it as a decoration.
“He’s just silent there, hands outstretched, watching,” says Sherry, who dismisses the idea that it might terrify unwitting guests. (The sleepwalker will be removed when the house is sold.)
“We don’t buy art to fit the house and the property,” says Sherry. “We buy art because we like the art we’ve seen. We didn’t buy it because its price is going up or because a reviewer recommended it. We buy it because we looked at it, we looked at each other and knew it was a piece for us.
In the beginning, there were a handful of outdoor sculptures. (This video provides a great introduction to their outdoor art.) “From five it went to 10, and before you know it it went to 15 and now it’s almost 70”, says Sherry of the outdoor sculptures. “We really hadn’t expected it. We did one at a time and made a firm rule that the sculptures should fit the landscape; the landscape did not have to adapt to the sculptures.
This was due, in large part, to the charm of the landscape. There’s an apple orchard with 40 trees, which the Mallins used as a pretext to invite 600 to 1,000 people each year for an apple-picking and cider-making party that “went on from morning till night.” , said Sherry. The property also includes a wooded area, rolling lawns, extensive flower beds and a large pond.
“The overwhelming, unrequested commentary is being made day after day by people saying, ‘It’s so weirdly quiet here,'” Sherry said. “It just exists. Everyone feels it.”
Given their long history with the house, not to mention the fact that the property is currently a showcase for their very large, unsightly exterior sculptures, the decision to sell the land was not an easy one. After a while, the Mallins made up their minds.
“We’re blessed with decent health, but we certainly know we’re declining,” Sherry says. “Eighty-eight is very different from 68.”
As a result, she continues, “we are going to live a different life, more suited to the aging process. We’ve decided that life won’t happen to us and that we’ll handle what we can handle.
In practical terms, this meant acknowledging that owning a large estate and an art collection containing what she says is “less than 2,000, and far more than 1,000” works of art, was unsustainable. “It’s a chapter in our life that closes whether we close it or not,” she concludes, “so we have to choose to close it in the way that makes us happiest.”
So they sell the property. As for the art collection, “some will be given away, some will be sold, some will be gifted,” Sherry says, “but basically we’re tearing it down.” All the sculptures can be moved once the house is sold, except for one work by Andy Goldsworthy, which will come with the property.
If a potential buyer is interested in home and art, they might find very accommodating sellers.
“My dream is for there to be this fantastic person who loves art and loves sculpture, who would buy all the sculpture and let it rest,” says Sherry. “But I am also pragmatic. Art will live, whatever we do, because it has a longer lifespan than ours.