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As one of the few surviving examples of the work of artist Robert Winthrop Chanler, the Whitney Studio stands today as a masterpiece of early 20th century decorative art.  Located on historic MacDougal Alley in Greenwich Village, the site is positioned at what once was the center for the development of the early modern art movement in America.  Designed for Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney from 1918 to 1923, the space was a social and spiritual refuge for the famous American art patroness, whose personal studio, Whitney Studio Club and Whitney Museum of American Art were connected and evolved from its building.  Once a sumptuous interior, painted with elaborate polychromatic schemes and detailed with corresponding stained glass windows and decorative screens, the room has lost many of its original features over time due to transitions in ownership, changes in use, and several over-painting campaigns.  Following the collapse of a cornice piece of the ceiling in 2008, a partnership was formed between the Architectural Conservation Laboratory of the University of Pennsylvania, World Monuments Fund and the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture, to fully record, investigate and conserve the remaining sculptural plaster and finishes in the room.  
Detail of Sun figure on the Whitney Studio ceiling, 1991. NYSS

Whitney Studio, 1928 (left). Smithsonian Archives of American Art. Whitney Studio, 2010 (right).


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