The “End of the 14th Street Crosstown Line”

In 1936, artist Reginald Marsh, known as a social realist for his depictions of a bustling, sensual, grotesque city, painted this scene of the old clashing with the new on 14th Street.

“Painted during an era of labor unrest in Union Square, ‘End of 14th Street Crosstown Line’ juxtaposes construction workers tearing up old trolley car lines with picketers demonstrating against Ohrbach’s, a store that had refused to allow its workers to unionize,” writes the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, which owns the painting.

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3 Responses to “The “End of the 14th Street Crosstown Line””

  1. The Day | Chuck Schumer on Avenue C, and 13 Other Morning Reads - The Local East Village Blog - Says:

    […] Ephemeral New York reprints a Reginald Mash painting, ““End of the 14th Street Crosstown Line,” that depicts workers tearing up trolley track while workers picket Ohrbach’s of Union Square. […]

  2. Bob_in_MA Says:

    I’ve always been a big fan of his. He was a master in the use of egg tempera. It has that neat translucent effect.

    He did a lot of big murals in the days of the WPA. You can still see some in the rotunda of the old Customs House (now a branch of the eNational Museum of the American Indian.)

    What’s ironic is that he was actually fairly well-to-do, I guess the WPA wasn’t needs-based… 😉

  3. wildnewyork Says:

    Oh yeah, those Customs House murals are incredible. I tried to get photos of them to post here but they came out too dark.

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