The bustling market on Hester Street in 1905

My favorite part of George Luks’ richly detailed “Street Scene (Hester Street)” are the plucked chickens hanging upside on on the right side of the canvas.

“One of the dynamic, young group of American Realists known as the Ashcan School, George Luks was a tough character who in art and life embraced the gritty side of turn-of-the-century New York,” states the caption to this painting on the website of the Brooklyn Museum.


“In this important early work, Luks pictured the street life of one of the Lower East Side’s teeming immigrant neighborhoods. By 1905, Hester Street had become home to a recently arrived population of Eastern European Jews and the site of a daily open-air market where thousands shopped for their necessities.

“Hester Street thus provided the type of unvarnished urban subject to which Luks was particularly drawn, and one from which New Yorkers accustomed to genteel shops and formal public etiquette would have recoiled.”

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4 Responses to “The bustling market on Hester Street in 1905”

  1. Pontifikate Says:

    Likely some of my ancestors are in this painting. I love the Ashcan school!

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Me too–I love their city: the crowds, tenements, enchanting glimpses of life’s mundane moments.

  3. EV Grieve Etc.: Mourning Edition | NYC Real Estate News via Tigho Says:

    […] The markets along Hester Street in 1905 (Ephemeral New York) […]

  4. Rosanna L Achilleos-Sarll Says:

    Is Ashcan a literal term or does it come from Askenazy I wonder?

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