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Highlights of Central Park Walking Tour
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The Neue Galerie in New York is a museum that is dedicated to exploring early twentieth century German and Austrian art. Formed by two friends who had a penchant for art appreciation and the decorative arts, the Neue Galerie seeks to show how these two concepts intertwine through the art that the galleries display. Additionally, the museum is located in the historic William Star Miller House, which retains much of its original character. Since its founding in 2001, the Neue Galerie has continued to enchant visitors from all across the globe. The Galerie can be found on the Museum Mile in Manhattan, where it sits alongside other museums in the area.

  • William Star Miller, who commissioned Carrère and Hastings to create his namesake home.
  • The William Star Miller House, home of the Neue Galerie.
  • Selldorf Architect's remodel features many Beaux-Arts elements, like the railings and skylight visible in this image.
  • The dark wood paneling of the building is balanced out by plenty of natural light and white plaster ceilings.
  • Decorative objects freely intermingle with fine arts in the galleries.
  • Serge Sabarsky passed away in 1996, a few years before the Neue Galerie opened.
  • Ronald Lauder and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz pause for a picture in front of Klimt's masterpiece, "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I."
  • Gustav Klimt's "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I." The painting was created in 1907 using oil paints and silver and gold leaf on canvas.

The Neue Galerie occupies the William Star Miller House, a historic mansion on Fifth Avenue. The home was constructed in 1914 for William Star Miller II, a New York industrialist and real estate developer. Carrère and Hastings – famous for designing the New York Public Library Main Branch, the Henry Clay Frick House, and many other buildings – were hired to plan the William Star Miller House. The exterior of the building suggests three primary stories, though there are actually five stories including a basement. The building was heavily inspired by King Louis XIII’s Place des Voges in Le Marais, France. This inspiration is evident in the mansard roof and stone balustrade that decorates the cornice. The general style of the structure is Neo-Classical, though the detailing and materials suggest a distinct Beaux-Arts influence. The building measures one hundred feet long by fifty feet wide, both an aesthetically pleasing proportion and an appropriate fit for a New York City lot.

The interior of the William Star Miller House reflects an early twentieth century penchant for bright airy spaces. Darker hardwood floors and paneling are contrasted by crisp white marble pillars, plaster ceilings, and floor to ceiling windows. Carrère and Hastings’ Beaux-Arts touches are particularly prominent in the stairways, railings, and skylights. Miller occupied his home until his death in 1935. His wife, Edith Caroline Miller, maintained residence until her death in 1944. After Edith Miller died, the house was purchased by socialite Grace Vanderbilt, who also occupied the home until her death in 1953. The building was then utilized by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, which stored many of their archival materials there.

In 1994, art dealer Serge Sabarsky and philanthropist Ronald S. Lauder purchased the William Star Miller House. The two men had met in 1967 and bonded over their shared appreciation of Austrian and German art from the early twentieth century. Ever since their friendship began in Sabarsky’s German and Austrian Expressionist art gallery in 1967, the two had been planning to open a museum to exhibit what they felt was the pinnacle of art from this period of time. In order to make this dream a reality, Sabarsky and Lauder purchased the historic home and began renovating it into a museum space. However, Sabarsky passed away in 1996, and Lauder labored to complete the museum in his friend's honor.

After extensive renovations by Annabelle Selldorf of Selldorf Architects, the Neue Galerie opened on November 16, 2001. The project’s goals were to maintain historical details while updating the museum to have necessary modern features. Fortunately for historical authenticity, the YIVO Institute boarded over the wood paneling rather than destroying it when they occupied the building. The paneling was re-revealed during the renovation. The decorative arts and fine arts intertwine throughout Neue Galerie, with furnishings and furniture complementing paintings and sculpture. The first floor serves as an entry space and hosts Café Sabarsky. The second floor is dedicated to Viennese art from the early twentieth century. Art by the Vienna Workshops, Egon Schiele, and Gustav Klimt all appear in this gallery. In 2006, the Neue Galerie purchased one of their most significant works, Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, for $135 million – at the time, the highest sum ever paid for a painting. The third floor of the Neue Galerie explores German art and also focuses on the early twentieth century. Expressionist artists Max Beckmann, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and Emil Nolde are all well represented. Other areas of emphasis are Bauhaus artists, such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Neue Sachlichkeit artists, like Otto Dix. The Neue Galerie works to juxtapose an appreciation of the current locational culture, as well as to present to visitors a view of Germany and Austria that they may not initially associate with the countries.

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