At the Metropolitan Museum of Art you can make an appointment at the Drawing Study Room, which is like a library, and they will pull any drawing you want to see from their collection and put it on a stand on the table in front of you. Wow... so I went and did this today, and of course had to choose their two most famous drawings, Michaelangelo's Study for the Libyan Sibyl and Leonardo's Head of the Virgin. I only had a short time with each, and I was pretty overwhelmed with being in the presence of a 499 year old drawing, but I enjoyed the chance to get a good look at them. I'm also inspired to do more master copies from reproductions at home.
Today I also visited Grand Central Academy of Art today. Dan Thompson teaches there and he was kind enough to give me a tour. The school is set up in four huge old classrooms on the 6th floor of a midtown building. Each room is dedicated to a single pursuit: figure study, cast drawings, sculpture for painters, etc, and they have arranged the lighting and painted the walls to be perfect for each pursuit. The school is gathering an amazing collection of casts, and everywhere you see statues set up with lights, stacked in corners, tacked to walls, with students busily working away on detailed pencil drawings.
I've now visited Studio Incamminati, Gage Academy, and Barnstone Studios - between all these, I have certainly had a great little tour of the "American atelier movement" these last few weeks.