The men who worked the Brooklyn docks in 1912

Painter George Bellows captured early 20th century New York’s lovelier moments: a blanket of bluish snow over the Battery, a girl’s enchantment with Gramercy Park, and carefree boys swimming off an East River pier.

But this social realist also cast his eye on the city’s grittier scenes. “Men of the Docks,” completed in 1912, is one of those—showing us a group of men literally pushed to the margins of Brooklyn, where they’ve gathered on a raw morning at an East River pier and face uncertainty.

These day laborers, “await jobs on the docks of Brooklyn on a grey winter morning. The towers of Lower Manhattan rise in the distance,” states London’s National Gallery, where the painting hangs.

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9 Responses to “The men who worked the Brooklyn docks in 1912”

  1. Steven A Burr Says:

    You never start a sentence with And or But…….

  2. frank dicapua Says:

    In think the hiring system was called” shaping up” hiring was done at a foreman discretion , These were grim times with tough endings.

  3. Tom B Says:

    The painting of the ‘Docks’ reminds me of the movie “On the Waterfront”

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