A painter’s stormy view of the Flatiron Building

Born during the Civil War in Chicago, Frank Coburn made a name for himself after the turn of the century as an Impressionist landscape painter, known for his moody scenes of Los Angeles and the desert and mountains of Southern California.

But Coburn also painted New York as well. In 1921, he depicted the Flatiron Building, Fifth Avenue, Broadway, and the edge of Madison Square Park during a rainstorm: slick streets, bare tree branches, a lone figure under an umbrella…and a sky glowing yellow.

“New York, a Landscape,” is at the Bowers Museum in Orange County, California.

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11 Responses to “A painter’s stormy view of the Flatiron Building”

  1. Penelope Bianchi Says:

    What a lovely painting……how odd it ended up in Orange County, California! Brilliant post!

    • ironrailsironweights Says:

      I was looking through the catalog of his paintings at the link above, and the Bowers Museum seems to be the only museum exhibiting any of his paintings. Almost all of them are in private collections. I would imagine the Bowers has them as he did most of his work in California.


  2. Eric Wayne Says:

    Really nice. I love that it’s all yellows.

    • ironrailsironweights Says:

      Quite of few of Frank Coburn’s paintings had a yellow theme.

      An interesting aspect of his life is that he was a sign painter in the Midwest until he was in his mid-40’s. Only after moving to California in 1908 did he take up artistic-style painting.


  3. countrypaul Says:

    Beautiful! Seeing something like this makes me glad I subscribed. I wonder if prints are available.

  4. Timothy Grier Says:

    The Flatiron Building has been the subject of so many great paintings and photographs over the years.

    • ephemeralnewyork Says:

      Yes, I think it’s stood for more portraits than the Brooklyn Bridge and Washington Square’s arch!

  5. ironrailsironweights Says:

    The yellow sky is the best touch.


  6. Bill Wolfe Says:

    It’s interesting that he seemed to concentrate on landscapes, based on the paintings at the linked site, since I find the most striking works are his night time urban scenes. The one shown here is my favorite.

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