The Cos Cob Art ColonyDuring the early 1890s American impressionist artists John H. Twachtman and J. Alden Weir began teaching summer art classes here in Cos Cob to students of New York's Art Students League. Edward and Josephine Holley ran the Bush-Holley House, then known simply as the "Old House" or the Holley House, as a boarding house for the artists and writers who were attracted to the picturesque village of Cos Cob. The colonial architecture of the Holley House which had been built in 1730, appealed to the boarders, many of whom made it a frequent subject of their work.
Among Cos Cob's amenities were easy access via train from New York City, recreation, and plenty of suitable subjects for painting, especially the village's older warehouse and residential buildings and the waterfront. In addition to Twachtman and Weir, the art colony attracted artists Childe Hassam, Theodore Robinson, Charles Ebert and Elmer Livingston MacRae (who married the Holley's daughter), as well as writers Willa Cather, Viola Roseboro and Lincoln Steffans. Between 1890 and 1920 more than 200 artists and writers enjoyed the camraderie of Connecticut's fine art colony.