A Visit with Daniel Pinkham at His Studio in Palos Verdes, CA
Tell us about your studio and its history. The studio is an exact replica of a 16th-century Romanesque Italian chapel. It was built in 1924 by Frank Vanderlip, president of the National Bank of New York, who also helped formulate the Federal Reserve Act. He came out to Callfornia in 1913 and bought the entire Palos Verdes peninsula for $1.5 million. Vanderlip then hired the Olmsted Brothers architectural firm out of Massachusetts to go to Italy for three years and do drawings, photos, and watercolors of famous Italian buildings and come back to reconstruct them here on the Southern California coast. Our structure was based on a roadside chapel just outside the Vatican that was Michelangelo’s studio and home when he was working on the Sistine Chapel commission. We bought the chapel in 1998 when we heard the city was going to bulldoze it. We have spent more than a decade restoring it. It didn’t even have a foundation in the beginning; it was sitting on stacked railroad ties. The plaster walls were propped up with two-by-fours so they wouldn’t fall over.