This year’s Spring House Tour Benefit is right around the corner and features seven exquisite Village properties. In keeping with the storied history of the Village as an artist’s haven, the Spring House Tour has a longstanding tradition of including artist’s and curators spaces on the tour. This year is no exception, and promises to delight.
Going back in history, the 2009 GVSHP House Tour featured two important temples of art; The New York Studio School and 1 Washington Square North, the long time home and studio of painter Edward Hopper.
8 West 8th Street has served as home to the New York Studio School since 1964. The buildings were originally purchased by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney who was not only an artist, but was arguably one of the greatest patrons of the arts in the history of the United States. The site was an amalgam of eight original buildings; four townhouses and four carriage houses dating from 1838. Mrs. Whitney combined the spaces to create her own private studio, residence, and gallery. In 1931, following a complete remodeling of both the interiors and exteri
ors, the buildings were opened as the Whitney Museum of American Art, and remained on West 8th Street until 1953. As we know, the Whitney Museum of American Art has taken up residence downtown once again in the Meatpacking District.
1 Washington Square North is the former home and studio of the great American painter, Edward Hopper. Hopper and his wife lived and worked on the 4th floor from 1913 until 1967. Objects used by the artist are displayed throughout the rooms, including Hopper’s printing press, kitchen stove, easel, and main desk.
The building was originally three separate townhomes: 1, 2 and 3 Washington Square North. At the time of their construction in 1833, they were considered to be some of the most fashionable residences of the time. The 1969 Landmarks Preservation Commission’s Designation Report for Greenwich Village calls Washington Square North “the most important and imposing block front in the City… it may well be considered the prototype, in this country, of the monumental Greek Revival row house.” In the twentieth century the building became home to many prominent artists. In 1992-1994, NYU combined the three houses for use by its School of Social Work. The studio remains available for public visits by appointment only.
This year will feature a very special Village loft on the tour. Built in 1908, the structure originally housed numerous manufacturing companies until it became a residential co-op in 1972. The loft is now the residence of the owner of a gallery specializing in contemporary Chinese art with locations in New York and Beijing, and a freelance curator who has been actively involved in the development of contemporary Chinese art. The impeccable loft is filled with an exquisite collection of both modern and ancient Chinese art. The redesign of the loft and its extraordinary contents is not to be missed.
See more historic photos of Washington Square North here.