Posts Tagged ‘New York street scene’

Skinny dipping off a broken East River pier

June 28, 2013

George Bellows always seems to have such empathy for his subjects, especially poor street kids—like the ones in his 1907 painting 42 Kids.

Bellows42kids

In a review of a recent Bellows show in London, a reviewer from The Guardian wrote this:

“[In 42 Kids] Bellows swiftly tallies the figures—’kids’ not ‘lads’ or even ‘boys’—suggesting their closeness to a litter of cubs or pups—who use a derelict pier as the diving board from which they hurl themselves into one of Manhattan’s turbid rivers.”

Street cleaning in the turn of the century city

February 25, 2013

Turn of the 20th century, that is. Before sweeper trucks came along, New York’s roads were cleaned with a contraption like this: a flimsy, horse-pulled cart with a water sprayer, squeegee, and roller at the rear.

Streetcleaninghorses

This photo, from the New York City municipal archives collection, is undated . . . and there’s almost no description of where it was taken.

It’s just another random moment in the early 20th century city no one could imagine would be of interest 100 years down the line.

The messy, crowded, chaotic city of 1911

November 15, 2011

It’s hard to say where the sidewalk ends and the street begins in Ashcan School artist George Bellows’ New York, painted in 1911.

It belongs to the National Gallery of Art in Washington and is one of Bellows’ energetic depictions of a crude, crammed New York  in the early 20th century.

Bellows also revealed a more desolate side to the city, like this raw portrait of a single tenement by the East River.


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