Description of Historic Site: One summer two artist Frederick Fursman and Walter Marshall Clute from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago came to the Saugatuck area in pursuit of creating a get away for artist from the industrious life of Chicago. They became enamored with the area and started summer painting classes at the Bandle Farm on the east bank of the Kalamazoo River approximately one mile upstream from where present day ox-bow stands. In 1912 and 1913 classes were held down river at Park House and Riverside Hotel. In 1914 the school moved its entire operation to the Riverside Hotel which soon became known as the Ox-Bow Inn. The building owned by the Shiver family the hotel started out as a small family home until the Shivers realized that great potential of trade traffic in 1890 they added 20 rooms on to their home converting it into Riverside Hotel. In 1907 the Kalamazoo River was straightened to flow into Lake Michigan doing this cut off Riverside Hotel from its patrons. The Shivers leased the hotel to a group of artists for the summer due to the decline of guest. After Clute’s death in 1915 with the support of the core shareholders including Isobel and Edgar Rupprecht, Fursman took over as director of the Ox-Bow School for the next thirty years, also in 1915 Renowed architect and architectural historian Eddy Tallmade went to Ox-Bow and quickly becoming its best patron leaving the school 110 acres after his death. In 1987 SAIC assumed responsibility for Ox-Bow’s academic program and in 1995 Ox-Bow and SAIC formalized a sponsorship agreement. The school has changed in many ways, but two things remain the same Ox-Bow’s mission to be a haven for artist and their partnership with the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago.
Address: 3435 Rupprecht Way Saugatuck, MI