The Death of A Ballroom

Man of style and curator of Ten Chimneys Keith D. MacKay sent me a link to this NYSD entry which featured the above photo of the late Earl Blackwell's ballroom. Who could these murals be by, we wondered?

I found the answer here, in a 1998 New York Times article:

The murals were painted in the 1950's ''in the Venetian style'' by a little-known artist named William Hankinson, the apartment's last tenant, Earl Blackwell, told Architectural Digest in 1972. Mr. Blackwell, the celebrity maven, said then that he had considered finding Mr. Hankinson and having him restore the murals, which were already showing their age. ''But most of my friends say, 'Let it age as if it's been there for centuries,' '' he added. ''And I agree.''

As NYSD mentions, the penthouse apartment was recently purchased by Wilbur and Hilary Ross, who hired Mario Buatta to freshen things up.

After: The Ballroom now as Drawing Room....

Bottom photo by Scott Frances for Architectural Digest. Tour the entire Ross residence here.