Posts Tagged ‘Everett Shinn New York City’

Winter beauty and misery at the arch at Washington Square

January 2, 2023

Dominating Washington Square Park and the imagination of painter Everett Shinn is the majestic marble Washington Arch, standing guard at the end of Fifth Avenue since 1892.

Here’s the spare beauty of a winter’s night at the arch: the gray-blue sky, and silvery, almost spooky tree branches. The low-rise buildings around the perimeter give the park the look of a town surrounding a village green—which makes sense, because Washington Square Park is the village green for the Village.

But then there’s the human misery of navigating cold, wet, windy weather. Shinn gives us a cab driver trying to control his vehicle, a pedestrian using her umbrella like a weapon, and various people with their heads down for protection against the fierce elements of a New York winter.

The one curious thing is the date of the painting: 1929, according to Christie’s, which auctioned it in 2016 for $47,500. The humans in the painting look like people from 1929. The horse-drawn streetcar and cab, however, must have been painted from memory.

[Source: Christie’s]

The final days of a 44th Street Gilded Age gambling house

February 7, 2022

Places like Canfield’s were the flip side of the Gilded Age—the not-so-secret gambling houses, brothels, and music halls that paid police and politicians to look the other way in the Tenderloin and other unsavory neighborhoods.

But the beginning of the Progressive Era caught up with Canfield’s in 1902, according to a New-York Tribune article. That year, detectives under the direction of District Attorney William Travers Jerome raided this gambling den at 5 East 44th Street and found “roulette tables, poker tables, and other gambling paraphernalia behind a secret panel in the wall,” per the Tribune.

Proprietor Richard Canfield paid a fine and sold the business. It might have been another forgotten vice spot in New York City’s backstory if social realist artist Everett Shinn, who had a knack for depicting the underside and underdogs of New York, had not immortalized it in this slushy scene in 1912.

“Here we are presented with another drab scene of urban life in New York City,” stated, in a 2016 commentary. “It’s winter, and by the looks of the couple hurrying away under an umbrella, it’s quite cold outside. A horse, carriage, and driver wait in front of the gambling house, and both figures look rather unhappy to be out in the quiet, snow and ice-covered streets.”

A food vendor’s Christmas on 14th Street in 1904

December 14, 2020

Ashcan school painter Everett Shinn gravitated toward New York’s underdogs: the lonely, the lost, the dreamers, and those who appear to be battered by life’s elements.

This food vendor pushing his flimsy wood cart during the holiday season appears to fall into the latter category. Painted in 1904, “Fourteenth Street at Christmas Time” gives us a blustery, snowy street crowded with Christmas tree buyers and other shoppers beside the lights from store window displays.

Our vendor, however, stands away from everyone, his body crouched to avoid the frightful weather. His cart glows with the warmth of hot food cooking…but he has no buyers.