The Three Arts Club – Our *Temporary* Summer Home
by Dayna Grayber
Did you know that this summer, we will temporarily be holding classes in a very significant and historic building on the Upper West Side? As we prepare to embark on our summer classes, it’s important to recognize the historical significance and similarities of the building that will house our summer classes, lessons, and week-long workshops.
This extraordinary building, located at 340 West 85th Street, holds a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century. When it was first built, it was originally established as The Three Arts Club, a sanctuary for young women pursuing careers in the “three arts” of painting, drama, and music.
How perfect that this will be our summer home for our students!
Founded in New York City, The Three Arts Club provided a safe and supportive environment for aspiring female artists. The building itself was constructed in 1927. With eight stories and a penthouse, it provided ample space for residents and played a pivotal role in the lives of countless women over its more than 40 years of existence.
|The Three Arts Club Booth, Actors Fund Fair (The Bain News Service, Library of Congress) (Between 1915 and 1920)
The unique aspect of The Three Arts Club was its combination of club and living quarters. Aligned with one of our core values, “Community”, it fostered a sense of home and camaraderie among its members. From a spacious reception hall to a music room accommodating both practice and transient visitors, the building exuded a sense of charm and functionality.
Beyond its physical attributes, The Three Arts Club also provided a platform for social engagement. Weekly Sunday evening suppers and special club evenings allowed members to entertain friends and enjoy various forms of entertainment, such as musical recitals and dramatic readings. It became a hub of student life, welcoming artists from different disciplines and aspiring musicians in particular, who formed the largest group among the members.
Music for all, indeed!
As we step into this historic building with our summer students, we embrace the spirit of The Three Arts Club and its dedication to supporting women in the arts. We are honored to be a part of a space that holds such a rich artistic legacy, and we hope to create an environment where students can thrive, just as the women of The Three Arts Club did over a century ago.
Read even more about The Three Arts Club and this amazing building here.