Hidden in the hills of Hinsdale in an old barn, you’ll find one of the most renowned and highly esteemed printmaking studios in the country.
Nestled in the sleepy Connecticut River Valley town of Hinsdale sits an unassuming classic New England barn. Not far from that barn is a circa-1900 farmhouse, as well as a surrounding 55-acre farm that grows scores of produce and flowers while keeping hens, hogs, and sheep. By all assumptions, Wingate Farm looks to be your typical New Hampshire farm operation. But if you go inside that barn, you won’t find bales of hay or farming equipment. Instead, you’ll find a vintage printing press – an 1850s Le Deuil, to be specific, a well-known press made in France – and master printer, Peter Pettengill.
It’s also where, since 1985, Pettengill has churned out limited-edition prints for the likes of influential artists Sol LeWitt, Joan Jonas, Wayne Thiebaud, Ed Ruscha, and Elaine DeKooning. Under the name Wingate Studio, the little barn has become one of the most renowned and highly esteemed printmaking studios in the country. So how did such a skilled printer – someone specializing in traditional intaglio and relief printing techniques – end up here? After working at the renowned Crown Point Press in San Francisco in the late ’70s and early ’80s, a home-sick Pettengill returned to his native New Hampshire, eventually establishing his own independent printing service out of his parent’s property. Today, he now owns that property, where his daughter and son-in-law manage the farm, and Pettengill continues to host contemporary artists to create small runs of prints that are sold and displayed in collections around the world.