Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney Studio, New York Studio School, NY. Photo by Lexi Campbell.
A new series of monthly tours has just been announced for the historic Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney Studio, the first location of the Whitney Museum of Art. This will be the first time in its history that the studio complex is open for public display. Run by the New York Studio School, the 45 minute tour will cover how the art collection started in the Whitney Studio and Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s role was in the contemporary American art movement. The Metropolitan Museum of Art famously rejected Whitney’s Modern art collection and a donation to maintain it, and according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Whitney’s work to showcase American art at this studio spurred the modern art movement in the United States.
In 2014, the National Trust named the Whitney Studio a National Treasure, providing a $30,000 grant for repairs and physical upgrades you will see on the tour. The National Trust hopes not only to do more restoration of the studio, but to also promote its active use as a place for art students to thrive and learn about art and the artists that have come before.
An oxidized copper-clad balcony that was installed by architect Grosvenor Atterbury in a renovation to connect the townhouse in front to the carriage house studio.
The secret staircase that connects the townhouse to carriage house
The New York Studio School is located in four mid-19th century townhouses at 8, 10, 12, and 14 West 8th Street, each with a carriage house in the back along MacDougal Alley. One of these townhouses belonged to renown sculptor Daniel Chester French, who created the figure of Abraham Lincoln in Washington D.C.’s Lincoln Memorial. The visit will include a visit to the studio of Chester French, along with a walk through MacDougal Alley.
Lower level of the studio
Sign up for the tour here, offered on Fridays June 10th, July 8th and August 5th at 11am. Can’t make those times but interested in visiting? Sign up to get advance notice for tours organized by Untapped Cities:
Next, read about the hidden alleys and small streets of Greenwich Village. See the 10 oldest NYC museums in vintage photos.