Late portraitist Aaron Shikler is best known for his classically gorgeous paintings of the American elite, most notably an official White House portrait of Jacqueline (then) Kennedy as First Lady and (posthumously) President John F. Kennedy as well as paintings of notables like Lady Bird Johnson, the Duchess of Windsor and the portrait of Ronald Reagan that appeared on Time magazine’s Man of the Year cover in January 1981. The Brooklyn-born artist and his wife, who died in 1998, lived at the standout Studio Building cooperative at 44 West 77th Street overlooking Central Park for over 50 years with their family.
Shikler passed away last year at 93, and since ownership appears to have been transferred to the couple’s two children in 2013, we’ll assume they’re the ones who have just put this classically grand three-bedroom Upper West Side co-op on the market for $7.795 million. Among the most thrilling of its many assets is the light-filled, enormous art studio where Shikler worked. The artist’s fascinating paintings are visible throughout the apartment (though we doubt they’re part of the deal).
The building itself is a sight to behold; the landmarked 14-story Gothic-style residence was designed in 1909 by noted architects Harde and Short as cooperative artist housing. The building’s tall ceilings and large layouts were intended to provide the atmosphere artists needed to work.
This appropriately spacious home on a wide street across from the the American Museum of Natural History is sun-filled and blessed with northern museum park views from the living room and the aforementioned art studio with its 14+-foot ceilings and decorative plaster work.
The apartment’s other eight rooms have high ceilings as well, including a generous foyer with leaded glass windows, an oak paneled dining room and a small library between the dining room and the formal 18-by-27-foot living room. The latter has ornate architectural details and a working wood-burning fireplace. A large informal eat-in kitchen is close to the laundry room and a half bath.
The southern side of the apartment consists of three bedrooms (large and cozy from the looks of it) and two baths.
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Images courtesy of Corcoran Group.
Neighborhoods : Upper West Side