Barney Studio House: A National Treasure

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The Smithsonian Institution owns two buildings which were once private residences. One of these is Washington, D.C.'s Barney Studio House, which was bequeathed to the Smithsonian in 1961 for use as an arts center. At the time the article was written, the house was administered by the National Museum of American Art and was under consideration for addition to the National Historic Preservation Registry. Completed in 1903, the home was the idea of artist and arts patroness Alice Pike Barney, who worked with architect Waddy B. Wood to design what the author terms an "architectural jewel" reminiscent of a Mediterranean villa. Article includes brief biographical details of Barney's life, general descriptions of the exterior and interior of the home, and comments on how the spaces were used by Barney for entertainment and education purposes. The author notes that Barney was also instrumental in founding the National Sylan Theater.


  • Wood, Waddy Butler
  • Barney, Alice Pike 1857-1931
  • National Museum of American Art (U.S.)
  • National Sylvan Theater
  • Barney Studio House (Washington, D.C.)
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


F. Petrie's illustration of Barney Studio House is included with the article.

Contained within

Smithsonian Preservation Quarterly (Newsletter)

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


Fall 1994


  • Historic buildings
  • Artists' studios
  • Architects
  • Architecture
  • Historic preservation
  • Artists
  • Biography

Physical description

pgs. 2 & 3

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