Having inherited a large sum from their family and with W.W. I looming, the globetrotting Stettheimer sisters—Carrie, Florine, and Ettie—decided to settle for a time in New York City. The sisters’ spacious and stylishly appointed apartment—located at Alwyn Court on West 58th—was known as “Château Stettheimer.” It was here, in the Manhattan equivalent of a Paris salon, that they hosted worldly aesthetes such as Cecil Beaton, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and Carl Van Vechten. “They wore pants, smoked cigarettes, disdained marriage, romance and children, and were constantly surrounded by artists and writers who were drawn to their soigne gatherings,” wrote Jean Nathan in The New York Times on the occasion of the Whitney’s 1995 exhibition on the Stettheimers. That show, however, did not feature their most fascinating legacy, the Stettheimer dollhouse—a two-story, 29-inch, 16-room miniature replica of the sisters’ famous apartment, created by Carrie. Now valued at millions of dollars, it has lived at the Museum of the City of New York ever since Ettie donated it in 1945, following the deaths, six weeks apart, of her two older sisters. To celebrate the anniversary of that gift, which fascinated everyone from Andy Warhol to Georgia O’Keeffe, the museum presents an opportunity to see the house up close. —C.J.F.
Museum of the City of New York 1220 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029, United States Get Directions »