Isabel O’Neil opened her eponymous studio in 1955. A visionary teacher, conservator and inventor in the field of decorative arts, once called “the grande dame of American painted finishes” by House & Garden magazine, she inspired many students to dedicate themselves to the continued teaching and preservation of the art and craft of the painted finish.
Today master artisan-teachers at the Isabel O’Neil Studio carry on the legacy of Isabel by guiding students through a traditional journeyman guild system that encourages creative innovation.
The curriculum, taught in person in New York, is an exploration of painting techniques that build upon students’ skills and creativity as they acquire the confidence to execute finishes of the highest historical and contemporary quality on furniture and objects. The studio is more than a school; many who have completed the program remain connected to the community it fosters, often returning to teach.