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ARTS & CULTURE At 88, Vanderbilt still arises in the early morning and sets to work, whether at her writing, painting, or sculpture. The studio is a bustling, optimistic space filled with the tools of her crafts, stray inspirational items, artworks completed and in progress, and cherished mementos. No corner is left untouched by Vanderbilt’s breathtaking creative capacity; even the porcelain tiles on the bathroom walls have been painted with the emblems and names of loved ones. tures, heartbreaks, and accomplishments, flabbergastingly human and present. When the subject of Garbo’s door is mentioned, she replies, in that inimitable, patrician whisper, “Every time I turn its handle, a part of me thinks, Greta Garbo touched this door.” The secret of such humility likely lies in her art; in particular, the paintings she’s created since the early 1950s. As Vanderbilt’s vibrant canvases reveal, her identity is still founded on hopes for the future rather than residing in memories or past laurels. “I always think the best is yet to come,” she says. “That my greatest work and greatest love are before me. In my heart, I’m still a child of the Riviera, longing to make something of my life, to distinguish myself through work.” L 56 Lonny SEPTEMBER 2012 2012 SEPTEMBER Lonny 57