In this week’s Studio Sunday, we’re looking inside the studio of Gloria Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt is perhaps best known as a New York socialite, heir to a railroad fortune, but she is also a long-time appreciator of the arts and an artist herself. Throughout her long artistic career, the artist has produced works of traditional painting, as well as more contemporary explorations into sculpture and mixed media.
Vanderbilt’s studio, in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, looks busy and surprisingly small for someone so notably wealthy. Perhaps Vanderbilt wanted to maintain a kind of “hobby” feeling for her art-making, or maintain it as an escape from the pressures of the rest of her life.
Either way, the studio seems well-equipped, with a big easel front and centre, what looks like a set of drawers holding supplies, and several other tables. The artist’s works seem to take up the majority of the space here, and there’s a clear sense of geometric organization -- paintings are hung in straight lines or arranged neatly along the floor, and there’s no great mess aside from a few paint stains on the floor, which are to be expected in any artist’s studio space.
The works present in this image appear to be mostly paintings or two-dimensional pieces. The artist’s wild, carefree use of colour suggests a genuine love of art-making and the artistic process.
A recent retrospective show of Vanderbilt’s work, held at 1stdibs Gallery in the New York Design Center, situates the different works alongside pivotal moments in Vanderbilt’s life, giving one the sense that the works were produced as reactions to or meditations on real-life events.