Whitney Museum of American Art (original building)

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Coordinates: 40°43′59″N 73°59′54″W / 40.73295°N 73.998306°W / 40.73295; -73.998306

Whitney Museum of American Art
(original building)
Whitney Museum 8-12 West 8th Street.jpg
(2011)
Whitney Museum of American Art (original building) is located in Manhattan
Whitney Museum of American Art (original building)
Whitney Museum of American Art (original building) is located in New York
Whitney Museum of American Art (original building)
Whitney Museum of American Art (original building) is located in the US
Whitney Museum of American Art (original building)
Location 8-12 West 8th Street
Manhattan, New York City[1][2]
Built 1838 (original buildings)
1931 (remodeled into gallery and residence)
1936 (remodeled into museum)[3][4]
Architect Auguste L. Noel of Noel & Miller (1931 and 1936)[1]
Architectural style Neoclassical
NRHP Reference # 92001877
Significant dates
Added to NRHP April 27, 1992[5]
Designated NHL April 27, 1992 [6]

The Whitney Museum of American Art original building is a collection of three 1838 rowhouses located at 8-12 West 8th Street between Fifth Avenue and MacDougal Street in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. In 1907, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney established the Whitney Studio Gallery at 8 West 8th Street adjacent to her own MacDougal Alley studio. This, and the later Whitney Studio Club at 147 West 4th Street, were intended to provide young artists with places to meet and exhibit their works.[1][7][8]

Stained glass window (and sketch) by Robert Winthrop Chanler, originally in the Whitney Studio

In 1918, American artist and friend Robert Winthrop Chanler was commissioned to redesign the interior of the 8th street property, adding an allegorical bas-relief ceiling, a 20-foot-high plaster and bronze fireplace, elaborate stained glass windows and decorative screens.[9][10][11]

In 1929, when the Metropolitan Museum of Art rejected Whitney's offer of the gift of nearly 500 new artworks that she had collected, Whitney established the Whitney Museum of American Art.[12] In 1931 she had architect Auguste L. Noel of the firm of Noel & Miller convert the three row houses at 8-12 West 8th Street into a gallery and residence for herself, and then, in 1936, into the museum's first home.[1][3]

In the 1940s, there were unrealized plans to incorporate the collections of the Whitney into the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of the 75th anniversary celebration of the Met.[13] In 1954, the museum moved uptown to new quarters on 54th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues – eventually settling in 1966 at 945 Madison Avenue at East 75th Street – and the building, with the addition of #14 West 8th Street, an Italianate house built in 1853-54,[3] became the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture.[1]

The building is located within the Greenwich Village Historic District, established in 1969 by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1992.[6][9][14] Listed on the World Monuments Fund's 2012 Watch list,[12] it has been the focus of an extensive restoration project on the part of the University of Pennsylvania’s Architectural Conservation Laboratory (ACL), in collaboration with the Fund.[11]

Gallery[edit]

The following photographs, from a 1937 museum publication, show the museum as it was at the time.[15]

Doorway, ca. 1937

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Dolkart, Andrew S. (text); Postal, Matthew A. (text) (2009), Postal, Matthew A., ed., Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.), New York: John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1 , p.54
  2. ^ Harris, Bill; One Thousand New York Buildings, 1st Edition; Black Dog and Leventhal. 2002. ISBN 1-57912-443-7; p.135.
  3. ^ a b c New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission Greenwich Village Historic District Designation Report v.1 (April 1969) p.151
  4. ^ White, Norval; Willensky, Elliot; Leadon, Fran (2010), AIA Guide to New York City (5th ed.), New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780195383867 , p.133
  5. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  6. ^ a b "New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-17. 
  7. ^ Whitney Museum of American Art (1937). Whitney Museum of American Art: history, purpose and activities, with a complete list of works in its permanent collection to June, 1937. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art. p. 3. Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  8. ^ Wolf, Justin. "The Whitney Museum of American Art". The Art Story. The Art Story Foundation. Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "A National Treasure, the Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney Studio". Senior Women Web. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  10. ^ "Whitney Studio Ceiling". Architectural Conservation Laboratory (ACL) of the University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Matero, Frank; Drapala, Lauren. "THE WHITNEY STUDIO CEILING: Examination, Analysis and Recommendation for Conservation" (PDF). Architectural Conservation Laboratory. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  12. ^ a b "29: New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture". Places where women made history. National Park Service. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  13. ^ "Finding aid for the Metropolitan Museum of Art 75th Anniversary Committee records, 1945-1950", Metropolitan Museum of Art
  14. ^ Avis Berman (December 2, 1991). "National Historic Landmark Nomination: Whitney Museum of American Art / New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture" (pdf). National Park Service.  and Accompanying 26 photos, exterior and interipr, from 1906-1991 (10.1 MB)
  15. ^ Whitney Museum of American Art: history, purpose and activities, with a complete list of works in its permanent collection to June, 1937 New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1937. Copyright not renewed.

External links[edit]