Barbizon-Plaza Hotel Frieze Panel, New York, c. 1930, cast aluminum, relief depicting an artist's palette, brushes, pencils and charcoal sticks, unsigned, ht. 57, wd. 43, dp. 2 1/2 in.
Note: The 38-story Art Deco Barbizon-Plaza Hotel opened at 106 Central Park South in 1930 with 1,400 en suite rooms. It was built for $10 million by William H. Silk, and designed in a modern classical style by Laurence Emmons, architect and decorator, who worked with the architectural firms of Lloyd Morgan and Murgatroyd & Ogden.
Conceived to appeal to artists and musicians, the Barbizon-Plaza was noted as the first music and art residence center in the United States. Facilities included soundproof practice rooms, art studios, galleries, and two performance halls. The list of notables who frequented the Barbizon was wide-ranging, from Diego Rivera and Frieda Kahlo, who resided at there in 1933, to the Beatles, who stayed during their early U.S. visits.
Donald Trump purchased the hotel and the neighboring apartment building in 1981. In December of 1985 he closed the hotel to prepare for conversion to condominiums, renaming the property Trump Parc in 1988.
Period Art Deco cast aluminum relief panels depicting art and music motifs adorned the Barbizon's exterior. Unlike other architectural pediments that were purposely destroyed during building makeovers (https://www.artwatchinternational.org/donalds-demolition/), the Barbizon panels were saved from the wrecking ball before they were replaced with the current signature gold panes and trim.
This panel was privately purchased in the early 1990s by the consignor from the firm who rescued the original panel suite. The framed panel retains the original weathered exterior patina.
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