Posts Tagged ‘Daniel R. Celentano’

Warming up by the stove in a 1930s el station

December 10, 2012

Daniel R. Celentano depicts tired, weary commuters staying warm by waiting indoors for their train in “L Waiting Station.”

I couldn’t find the date, but I’d say it’s the late 1930s or early 1940s. I wonder what station we’re looking at? I love the wood floors and the man holding what must be a bucket of coal.

Celentanolwaitingstation

Pot belly stoves like that really existed in el stations, as this 1936 Berenice Abbott photo reveals. Looks warm and toasty, unlike most subway platforms in the wintertime.

The 1930s Little Italy of a New York–born painter

October 11, 2012

Born in East Harlem’s Little Italy in 1902, Daniel R. Celentano studied with painter Thomas Hart Benton as a kid and later worked as an artist for the WPA.

He painted scenes all over New York but is perhaps best known for his depictions of sometimes raucous, sometimes solemn Italian-American neighborhood life during the Depression and World War II.

“Festival,” from 1934, features a “lively scene, evoking the scents of tasty Italian food, is overshadowed by the immense natural-gas tanks at the right that once blighted Manhattan’s immigrant slums,” states the Smithsonian website.

“Italian Harlem Street Scene” (I’m not certain of the exact date) is more foreboding.

The cross way in the distance on top of the tenement looks like it’s about to snap in the wind.


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