Marycel and Tamarit
As Chairman of the Board for International Harvester for over 10 years, Mr. Deering’s wealth grew to a sizeable fortune. He continued his art collecting and added works by contemporary artists and Old Masters including, Giovanni Boldini, Edgar Degas, Francisco Goya, El Greco, Winslow Homer, Vincent Lopez, Lucas Padilla, Augustus St. Gaudens. J. Sustermans, and J.M. Whistler to name a few.
To house his vast accumulation of artwork, Mr. Deering purchased two castles in Stiges, Spain near Barcelona in 1908. Tamarit, was in ruin, and with the help of Miguel Utrillo y Morlius, a famous Spanish painter, art critic and engineer, he restored Marycel and Tamarit. Marycel, Catalan for Sea and Sky, was influenced in its architecture by Gothic and Moorish styles. The restoration took 2 years, and by 1910, Marycel housed Mr. Deering’s extensive art collection.
Mr. Deering’s initial intent, in addition to serving as a seaside residence, was to convert his palaces in to a functioning art center – a fairly progressive idea at the time. Mr. Deering, as a great collector and supporter of the arts, wanted a home for artists to live, create, and display their works. But, frustrated with the transitional government of the country and the inability to implement his dreams, in 1921, Mr. Deering emptied Marycel and shipped the majority of its contents to the United States.
Hundreds of crates filled with valuable artwork and books were shipped from Spain, through the Port of New York, to the Art Institute of Chicago. A few dozen of those crates then made their way to Cutler. Today, the collection of buildings located at Marycel and Tamarit serve as a museum and civic center and are notable for their intricately beautiful tile work and seamless incorporation of antique architectural elements brought in by Mr. Deering.