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Work Begins at the New York Studio School

WMF’s project in collaboration with the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University launched this week. Students from the Conservation Center will analyze paint finishes on the spectacular fireplace and chimney of the Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney studio at the New York Studio School. On January 7 the first order of business was a scaffold safety training program. Once the students had completed the training, everyone eagerly began the work on the fireplace. The artistic vision for the room was conceived by Robert Chanler, commissioned by Mrs. Whitney in 1917. The New York studio is a National Historic Landmark, acknowledging its important role in history as the first site of the Whitney Museum and its use as a salon for Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s circle, who were influential in American art of the period. The New York Studio School was included on the 2012 World Monuments Watch. p>

Five graduate students will be taking paint samples from the fireplace to determine the original color scheme and prepare a treatment plan for its conservation. This follows on a similar earlier analysis of the ceiling done by Lauren Drapala as a thesis project and post-graduate study for the University of Pennsylvania. A sixth NYU graduate student is undertaking an in-depth study to understand this commission in the context of Chanler’s other significant works. p>

The project, being overseen by NYU professor Michele Marincola and materials conservation expert Mary Jablonski, will conclude at the end of 2013. p>