Michigan art studio added to Register of Historic Places

BENZONIA, me. – A northern Michigan art studio that’s a popular tourist destination has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The studio was owned by Gwen Frostic, who made stationery and prints from linoleum block carvings. The business began in Wyandotte, a suburb of Detroit in the 1950s, before Frostic opened a store in Frankfurt and the Presscraft Papers studio in Benzonia, Benzie County.

Frostic died in 2001. The studio is now owned by Kim and Greg Forshee, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported.

The studio was nominated by Debra Ball Johnson, a historic architect with the State Historic Preservation Office. She recommended the studio for the National Register, also because few locations in northern Michigan are associated with women.

Kim Forshee said about 2,200 linoleum blocks are still being used for printing and the original Heidelberg printing presses are still in place.

“I was broken when it closed, as were many, many people,” she said. “It’s a special place and we consider ourselves caretakers.”

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Western Michigan University’s art school is named after Frostic, who donated millions to the university. She attended the WMU, but did not graduate.

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