See inside: Historic Gwen Frostic art studio available for $1.9M

Property located 36 miles from Traverse City

Photo of Angela Mulka

After being added to the National Registry of Historic Places last year, the Gwen Frostic Studio is now available to buy in Benzonia for $1,900,000.

The property has been a popular destination in northern Michigan for residents and visitors since 1964 when the owner famous artist, author and poet Gwen Frostic opened her business, called Presscraft Papers, at the location.

Millions have toured the studio to admire her art and see the nature sanctuary she built on almost 12 acres, according to the listing on United Country Great Lakes Realty & Auction.

"It is just such a unique building and it reflects the uniqueness of Gwen Frostic because she was such a unique person," said Debra Ball Johnson, AIA, architect, historic architect and architectural historian at State Historic Preservation Offices. "The artwork and location reflect her love for the natural environment in the State of Michigan."

Frostic was an artist with a physical disability and businesswoman who defied the odds of being told at a young age she would never walk or talk due to a polio diagnosis by becoming famous and successful through the sale of her nature-inspired prints and carved designs on linoleum blocks, according to the listing.

In 1978, former Michigan Gov. William Milliken even proclaimed May 23 as Gwen Frostic Day.

"She was an inspiration to both physically challenged persons and the women of Michigan and far beyond, as a noted artist, writer, nature lover and entrepreneur," Johnson said. "Designed by her and reflective of her love of nature, the studio represents Gwen Frostic during her productive life and most directly reflects her significance in and contributions to art in Michigan."

Frostic worked up until her death in April 2001 and the studio has stayed open to continue her legacy. The 2,200 linoleum blocks that she carved are still used today to print the greeting cards and other works that sell in the shop and through the website.

Located about 36 miles from Traverse City on 5140 River Road in Benzonia, the 21,000-square-foot studio is being sold turn-key and covers the real estate, printed inventory, equipment including 15 Heidelberg Presses and all copyrights, according to the listing.

You can take a video tour of the studio below.

In addition to her studio, Frostic left a generous gift to Western Michigan University, from which she graduated, estimated at more than $13 million.

Western Michigan has since named its art school after her.