In New York City’s constantly changing urban landscape, artist studios can be ephemeral.
When Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney set up her sculpture studio in Greenwich Village’s MacDougal Alley, one 1907 newspaper headline blared: “Daughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt Will Live in Dingy New York Alley.”
Following our exploration of the artist graves in New York City from the 19th and early 20th centuries, we continue into the 20th and 21st centuries.
Stepping through the gates of Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, you are first awed by the sheer number and size of the mausoleums that tower over its more than 400 acres. Once you begin to explore this 19th century city of the dead, you discover the incredible details that went into all these personal memorial estates, from the ornate metal gates to the bronze, granite and marble statuary, and then peaking through the doors you see bursts of color in delicate stained glass. You notice the sculptures of familiar cemetery motifs of angels and mourning ladies, but also highly personal tributes by some of the most recognizable 19th and 20th century artists.