Posts Tagged ‘” Ash Can School’

The “cliff dwellers” of Manhattan’s slums

February 22, 2010

“Cliff Dwellers” is the name Ash Can School painter George Bellows gave his 1913 depiction of lower Manhattan tenement life.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which owns the painting, describes Cliff Dwellers this way: 

“The people are poor, living in cramped apartments, with too many children to feed; the children have the character of untrustworthy street urchins. Yet scenes such as this were not intended to be critical of foreigners of their living conditions; indeed, the activity has a lighthearted, almost circuslike quality.”

“Track Gang” at work in the subway

February 9, 2010

Philip Reisman, born in 1904 to Polish immigrant parents, painted Ash Can School–inspired scenes of city life above and below ground.

I can’t find much background on this painting—like what station it depicts or when it was done. Judging by the woman on the platform at left in jeans, it must be the 1960s or 1970s.

The Museum of the City of New York has another example of his work and more biographical info.