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New Tour Takes Art-Lovers Inside the Whitney’s Inaugural Home For the First Time

Guided tours will offer new insight into the earliest home of the Whitney Museum

In its infancy in the early 20th century, the Whitney Museum was known as the Whitney Studio, where founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney would showcase the work of American artists like Edward Hopper. Its first location was a townhouse on 8th Street in Greenwich Village, and though the institution would later move to larger locations—eventually landing in a Renzo Piano-designed home in the Meatpacking District—the building where it started remains. And now, that house will open its doors to the public during a series of guided tours, according to Untapped Cities.

The former Whitney is now a part of the New York Studio School, the organization offering the tour. It'll chronicle the beginning of the museum, as well as Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney's role in boosting America’s modern art movement. It will also lead through the Macdougal Alley, the back-end of the townhouses at 8, 10, 12, and 14 West 8th Street, which all maintain their rear carriage houses (including one owned by Daniel Chester French, the famed Lincoln Memorial sculptor).

In 2014, the National Trust for Historic Preservation granted the Whitney studio $30,000 for upgrades and repairs in the hope of promoting the studio as an informational space for art students looking to learn about those that came before them.

Tours are currently being offered on Friday June 10, July 8, and August 5. Sign-up information for the tours can be found here.