Sarah Austin

Sarah Goodwin Austin was born in Hartford to Helen Goodwin Austin, a member of one of the city’s founding families, and A. Everett “Chic’ Austin Jr., who was the director of the Atheneum from 1927 to 1945, and who also served as director of the John and Mable Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Fla.

Miss Austin attended the Hartford School of Art.

In 1985, she and her family gave the Austin house, also known as the “Stage-Set’ house, to the Atheneum, to be used and preserved. The house, at 139 Scarborough St., is only 18 feet deep and has the appearance of an Italian villa in a movie set. It was used by her father to entertain noted artists from all over the world and is currently being used as a residence for visiting scholars.

Miss Austin was a member of the Colonial Dames of America and the Cosmopolitan Club of New York, where she served as vice president.

Her work is also on exhibit in New York City and at the Elaine Benson Gallery on Long Island.

Excerpted from the Hartford Courant (, accessed April 11, 2011.