Hanging up the wash in a Brooklyn backyard

This bucolic scene of a woman hanging clothes to dry in the sun really is in Brooklyn—the Brooklyn of the 1880s, that is, a boom time that gave the city new neighborhoods, parks, and of course, the Brooklyn Bridge.

washdaybrooklyn

Impressionist painter William Merritt Chase lived in Brooklyn from 1887 to 1890, and he often depicted it in his work: Prospect Park, Tompkins Park, and the East River were popular subjects.

“Wash Day—A Backyard Reminiscence of Brooklyn” shows a more intimate side of life in Kings County in a still country-like section of the city. A lone figure hidden behind a bonnet and in the shadows pins sheets to a clothesline, a necessary but mundane task no machine was available to do.

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3 Responses to “Hanging up the wash in a Brooklyn backyard”

  1. Hanging up the wash in a Brooklyn backyard — Ephemeral New York – Arteatromexperu's Weblog Says:

    […] a través de Hanging up the wash in a Brooklyn backyard — Ephemeral New York […]

  2. S.S. Says:

    Today we call it a solar-powered clothes dryer.

  3. steve freidus Says:

    Can you suggest any sources for letterheads of Manhattan based
    companies or organizations? Copies are OK.

    Thanks Steve

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