Posts Tagged ‘William Glackens’

Taking in the view from East River Park in 1902

April 29, 2013

William Glackens contrasts the calm quiet of a lower Manhattan park with the smoke-choked industrial Brooklyn waterfront across the river in his 1902 painting “East River Park.”

Is this the same East River Park that exists today south of East 12th Street? According to the NYC Parks Department, the current park was conceived by Robert Moses in the 1930s.

Glackenseastriverpark

The painting is part of the collection at the Brooklyn Museum. “William Glackens found ample subject matter in the parks of New York and the city dwellers who frequented them,” the museum website explains.

“Here he depicted the natural features of the East River Park, and the pastimes of its inhabitants, in sharp contrast to the bustling industrial setting of Brooklyn’s waterfront visible across the water. For the many immigrants living in small, cramped quarters, the urban parks of Brooklyn and Manhattan served as a refuge from the poor conditions and overcrowding of tenement life.”

Little sledders enjoying Central Park in winter

February 6, 2013

In his 1905 painting “Central Park, Winter,” Ashcan School artist William Glackens “portrays a group of well-behaved children sledding down a gentle slope in New York’s Central Park under the watchful eyes of adults who dot the perimeter of a snowy knoll,” states the website for the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Centralparkinwinter

“The children are warmly dressed and the adults are fashionably clothed, signaling that this is a story of middle-class recreation.”

“Despite their nominal commitment to telling the unvarnished truth about modern life and urban hardship, Glackens and other Ashcan artists viewed their world through rose-colored glasses, presenting the city euphemistically and, as here, depicting people at leisure in quasi-rural surroundings rather than in their overcrowded home neighborhoods.”

Glackens often painted winter scenes in the city. Here he capture more fashionably dressed women and children on a slushy day in Washington Square Park.

“The Green Car” in Washington Square, 1910

December 22, 2011

Painter William Glackens didn’t have to go far to create this depiction of Washington Square at the turn of the last century.

He and his wife moved to 3 Washington Square North in 1904, and he had a studio at 50 Washington Square South.

“In The Green Car, a view to the north from his studio window, Glackens suggests this transition from old to new,” states the caption to this painting at metmuseum.org.

“In the background is a glimpse of “The Row,” the elegant red-brick, Greek Revival houses that had been built along Washington Square North in the 1830s and 1840s for some of New York’s most prominent old families.”

“In the foreground, a fashionably dressed young woman hails a streetcar, powered by underground electrical cables, which was emblematic of modern developments.”

The “watery slush” of Washington Square

February 16, 2011

The park was a favorite subject for Ashcan artist William Glackens, who depicts a late winter scene in “Washington Square, Winter” from 1910.

“Washington Square South was Glackens’s home from 1904 to 1913, and he painted more scenes of the square than any other subject except the beach near Bellport, Long Island,” states the website for the New Britain Museum of American Art, where the painting hangs.

“The Washington Square paintings were done in the winter, when the artist delighted in using paint to describe the thick mud, deep snowdrifts, and watery slush on the sidewalks.

“Once a fashionable address, it was by 1910 a diverse neighborhood, typical of the city of New York, which fascinated Glackens. Among the favored details that appear in his Washington Square series are the boy with the red sled, the green bus or trolley, and the woman in the flowered hat.”


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