Descending the subway stairs in 1938

It’s a lonely experience in “Entrance to Subway,” by New York City painter Mark Rothko, part of his “subway series” completed in the late 1930s. These paintings depicted the disconnection of modern urban life.

“In the mid-1930s Mark Rothko began a series of works with subjects derived from the urban experience that became known as the Subway series,” writes the Brooklyn Museum. “These paintings reflect the artist’s sense of isolation, shared by many at the time, that resulted from the harsh social conditions caused by the Great Depression.”

No word on which station Rothko, who had a studio on 53rd Street, painted here. But I love the wooden turnstiles.

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6 Responses to “Descending the subway stairs in 1938”

  1. Joe R Says:

    Those tiles with the letter “N” ought to give a clue. Maybe Nassau Street? Not Nevins Street, I’m pretty sure.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    Nassau Street is a possibility—it’s old and had wooden turnstiles.

  3. brenda Says:

    this is great,, love reading about the old days,, wish I could find were the CLARAGH hotel used to be ??

  4. Vincent Sinnott Says:

    What a fantastic site for anyone who loves NYC. I lived here my entire life and am enthralled with many of your postings. I may have caught wind on perhaps 50% of the info
    contained here.

    Love it.

  5. Mark Rothko’s solitary 1930s subway platforms | Ephemeral New York Says:

    [...] An earlier post on the most famous painting in the Subway Series. [...]

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