Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s Old Westbury Villa is For Sale

A storied space awaits its next chapter

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney
Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney finishes model of her St. Nazaire Memorial.
Bettmann Archive

Some artists are institutions unto themselves; others opt to be the founders of institutions. The latter is the case for sculptor Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. In addition to her own work, she also acted as a patron of the arts for many years, founding the Whitney Studio in 1914 and gradually amassing a massive collection of contemporary art. That became the core of the museum that bears her name.

Whitney herself worked in a studio on what was then her family’s estate in Old Westbury on Long Island. A 2020 article at Curbed provides a host of details about the space — a massive room with a skylight that Whitney used for sculpting, murals on the walls and a more recent expansion by her granddaughter that added a pair of wings to the building. Now, a new article by the author of the earlier Curbed piece, Wendy Goodman, brings an update on the space: it’s now on the market.

The home is listed at Douglas Elliman for $4.75 million. The listing offers more details; all told, you’re looking at a 5 bedroom, 5 bathroom space situated on 6.95 acres. Elliman’s Paul Mateyunas, who is handling the sale, told Curbed that “we are all hoping for someone who either has an artistic background, an appreciation for art, or an institutional or educational buyer that might want to use it as a foundation or an annex to one of the museums in New York and treat it as if it were a livable work of art.”

It’s a striking work of architecture with a storied past and — one hopes — an equally impressive future.

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