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The New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture at 8 West 8th Street, Manhattan, New York City, New York State is an art school formed in 1963 by a group of students and their teacher, Mercedes Matter, all of whom had become disenchanted with the fragmented nature of art instruction inside traditional art programs and universities. Today it occupies the building that previously housed the Whitney Museum of American Art.

From its start, the Studio School was founded on the principle that drawing from life should form of the basis of artistic development. Furthermore, rather than attending a series of disjointed classes, students were encouraged to develop their artistic practice along lines similar to the "atelier" approach favored by European art schools.

Faculty has included painters Charles Cajori, Louis Finkelstein, Philip Guston, Alex Katz, Earl Kerkam, George McNeil, and Esteban Vicente; sculptors Peter Agostini, Sidney Geist, Reuben Nakian, and George Spaventa. Nicolas Carone and Mercedes Matter focused on drawing instruction and Meyer Schapiro and Leo Steinberg taught art history. Among the more notable directors or deans to have led the school are music composer Morton Feldman and artist/critic/curator Robert Storr.

While until very recently, the school did not -- by intention -- offer formal degrees, today students are able to obtain a Master of Fine Arts.

In 2005, the school was among 406 New York City arts and social service institutions to receive part of a $20 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation, which was made possible through a donation by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. [1] [2]

History of the building

In 1914, in one of the many Manhattan properties Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and her husband owned, Gertrude Whitney established the Whitney Studio Club at 8 West 8th Street in Greenwich Village as a facility where young artists could exhibit their works. The place would evolve to become her greatest legacy, the Whitney Museum of American Art, on the site of today's New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture.

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