Study for “View from High Tor, Haverstraw, New York"

Classification: 
Is owned by NYHS: 
Yes
Object name: 
Date: 
ca. 1866
Medium: 
Watercolor and graphite on heavy watercolor paper
Dimensions: 
Sheet: 4 5/16 × 6 7/16 in. (11 × 16.4 cm)
Place Made: 
Description: 
Credit Line: 
Gift of Paul Worman Fine Art
Object Number: 
2017.29.2
Marks: 
Inscriptions: 
Gallery Label: 

John William Hill’s jewel-like watercolor sketch for the more finished watercolor in the N-YHS (1958.125), which is three times its size and is one of twenty drawings and watercolors in the collection by the artist. It immediacy vividly communicates the meteorology of the windy, sunny day on the Hudson River. The artist first sketched the composition freely in graphite, eventually framing his composition with graphite lines.

The artist would have then made another study on a separate sheet of paper in graphite, perhaps on the spot. With both studies as guides, Hill then painted the finished watercolor in his studio. This vivacious watercolor sketch and its relationship to View from High Tor, Haverstraw, New York sheds light on the working method claimed by the American Pre-Raphaelites and demonstrates that Hill produced sketches in nature, which he consulted when executing the more highly finished watercolor in the studio.

Hill read John Ruskin’s sensational Modern Painters (first published in England in 1843; American edition 1847) around 1855 and was greatly affected by the critic’s passionate appeal that artists reject artistic interpretation in favor of a meticulous transcription of the visible world. Such ideas contradicted the notion of the sublime that was integral to the work of the Hudson River School but had found favor in England with the Pre-Raphaelites. Embracing Ruskin’s ideas, Hill began to paint directly from nature, eventually adopting a stippling technique favored by the Pre-Raphaelites. In 1863, he became a founding member of their American counterparts, the Society for the Advancement of Truth in Art, and was elected its first president.

Located near Clarkstown and Haverstraw in Rockland County, New York, High Tor is now a state park. High Tor measures 797 feet and nearby Little Tor 620 feet. They are the highest peaks in all of the Hudson Palisades. High Tor was used as a signal point during the American Revolution for the colonist and was used as an air raid watch during World War II.

Provenance: 
Bibliography: 
Prior Exhibitions: 
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1871
eMuseum Object ID: 
79789
Exclude from TMS update: 
3
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Warren of New York, William Hall Master

Classification: 
Is owned by NYHS: 
Yes
Object name: 
Date: 
1805
Medium: 
Watercolor on paper
Dimensions: 
Framed: 27 1/2 × 34 1/4 in. (69.9 × 87 cm)
Place Made: 
Description: 
Credit Line: 
Gift of Ransford Lewis and Marion Lewis Durham
Object Number: 
2017.61.1
Marks: 
Inscriptions: 

Inscribed with the title and “William Hall, Master” and dated 1805, lower right

Gallery Label: 

The watercolor depicts the ship, “Warren” of New York, which was captained by William Hall (c. 1769–1829). Although his birth year has not been identified, William Hall is listed every year from 1800 to 1828 as a shipmaster in the New York City directory. He was a member of the New York City Freemasons and entered into the “sublime degree of Master Mason” on August 21, 1804, the highest degree in the fraternity. The following year, Hall became master of the “Warren.”

Provenance: 
Bibliography: 
Prior Exhibitions: 
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1805
eMuseum Object ID: 
82927
Exclude from TMS update: 
3
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Sailing Toy Sailboats in Central Park

Classification: 
Is owned by NYHS: 
Yes
Object name: 
Date: 
1944
Medium: 
Watercolor and gouache over graphite on artists’ board, with left and right borders demarcated in graphite
Dimensions: 
Sheet: 13 3/16 × 18 1/16 in. (33.5 × 45.9 cm)
Place Made: 
Description: 
Credit Line: 
Gift of Judith Selkowitz
Object Number: 
2017.58
Marks: 
Inscriptions: 

verso inscribed at upper left in graphite: 1950 / GOUACHE SAILBOATS / CENTRAL PARK

Gallery Label: 

Best known as a pioneer in screenprints, Max Arthur Cohn was born in 1903 to Russian immigrants in London and moved with his family to New York City in 1905. After his first art-related job creating commercial silkscreens at age seventeen, Cohn began to experiment with silkscreening on his own and later, in the 1930s and 1940s, exhibited his prints in New York City and Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, none of his early works from the 1920’s or early 1930’s are known to have survived. Cohn developed a new concept of screenprinting with the use of transparent washes, which gave the finished product the quality of transparent watercolor. He also studied at the Art Students League in New York City with Boardman Robinson and John Sloan. During the Great Depression, he worked as an easel painter for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a New Deal program that supported artists by providing them with a small stipend. In the 1950s, Cohn owned a graphic arts business in Manhattan, and is credited with teaching silkscreen techniques to a young Andy Warhol. Cohn coauthored several books on silkscreening, including the influential 1958 book Silk Screen Techniques, written with J. I. Bielgeleisen, that is still in print. Barely a century old, silk screen printing or serigraphy has been adopted as a commercial and an artistic process by thousands of enthusiastic professional and amateur artists throughout the world. Cohn produced his last artistic screenprint images in 1945, but maintained a commercial art studio in New York into the 1950’s.

The watercolor is a study for a silk screen print that is signed and dated 1944. Like many of the artist’s works, it has a simplified generic appearance and bears a simple title, which has been reported variously as “Toy Boats” or “Sailing Toy Boats in Central Park.” The inscription on the verso cinches its location as the Conservatory Water in Central Park, located near 72nd Street in New York City. Model boats are sailed and/or raced there every weekend. Residents of the City may apply for permits to store their boats in the Kerbs Boathouse.

Provenance: 
Bibliography: 
Prior Exhibitions: 
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1944
eMuseum Object ID: 
82932
Exclude from TMS update: 
3
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

View of Borie’s Factory on the Canal at Manayunk

Classification: 
Is owned by NYHS: 
Yes
Object name: 
Date: 
1827
Medium: 
Watercolor, gouache, selective glazing, and graphite with scratching out on paper, laid on heavy paper
Dimensions: 
Overall: 16 13/16 × 24 in. (42.7 × 61 cm)
Place Made: 
Description: 
Credit Line: 
Purchase, Watson Fund and PECO Foundation Fund for Drawings
Object Number: 
2017.29.1
Marks: 
Inscriptions: 
Gallery Label: 

George Lehman, one of the artists who worked with John James Audubon on “The Birds of America,” was born around 1803 in Switzerland. He worked as a printmaker (lithographer, engraver, and aquatintist) and ornamental painter in Philadelphia from ca. 1825 to 1870. Lehman immigrated to the United States as a “printer,” arriving aboard the ship Howard in New York City with his parents and siblings on June 11, 1824. Also a talented landscapist, Lehman exhibited views of Pennsylvania and Switzerland at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts beginning in 1825, and served as Audubon’s landscape assistant on his expeditions to Charleston and Florida during 1831–32. Between 1833 and 1834 Lehman partnered in the printing firm of Childs & Lehman in Philadelphia, having delineated works printed by Childs as early as 1827, and subsequently with the French lithographer P.S. Duval in Lehman & Duval (1835–37). Leaving the partnership, Lehman continued to delineate works for Duval and to work as a lithographer in Philadelphia until 1870.

Audubon had met Lehman in October 1824 in Pittsburgh. Returning from his first trip to England in 1829, after establishing his successful partnership with the printmaker Havell, he stopped in Philadelphia and began working with Lehman. As JJA wrote to his wife Lucy, “I have found . . . Lehman a German whom I knew at Pittsburgh 5 Years since who is helping me with my plants . . .”

Watercolors by Lehman are rare, although “The Annual Exhibition Record of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts 1807–1870” lists about a dozen watercolors that the artist exhibited between 1825 and 1831 before he departed Philadelphia with Audubon.

“View of Borie’s Factory on the Canal at Manayunk” is one of the heretofore missing works Lehman exhibited in 1828 at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (no. 231). He painted it with a sophisticated mix of media that parallels the one used by Audubon himself, but in an earlier, more conservative style. The beautiful work reveals why the legendary Audubon selected Lehman as one of the five artists he commissioned to render settings for his avian tableaux (Lehman participated in at least 32 of the Audubon’s watercolors held by the N-YHS). It also suggests, as is the case with George Mason who assisted the artist in 1821–22, that Audubon first drew the background compositions of his watercolors in graphite and that his assistants would complete the landscapes or botanicals. This large and ambitious watercolor proves that Audubon challenged his collaborators to paint on his level and inspired them to cultivate their skills. Lehman rose to the occasion to become Audubon’s most accomplished assistant. Only with this watercolor can one make the argument about why Audubon was attracted to Lehman and begin to chart the Philadelphia artist’s development. It is telling that after his southern expedition with the naturalist-artist, Lehman returned to his primary occupation as a printmaker.

This fascinating watercolor also captures important historical elements of the Industrial Revolution in America and a celebration of new technology. The Manayunk or Flat Rock Canal is today a remaining segment of the canal system built by the Schuylkill Navigation System, sometimes called the Schuylkill Canal, which was once over 106 miles long, stretching from the anthracite region near Pottsville down the Schuylkill River into Philadelphia. One of the first anthracite canals built to bring coal through this network, its development parallels that of the Erie Canal. Manayunk is six miles from Philadelphia’s harbor and located on fast moving water, making it an ideal location for the early textile spinning mills and glass factories starting up on the English model in New England. Lehman’s watercolor depicts an action-filled scene on the canal at Manayunk with a horse-drawn barge towed on the canal and a boy fishing from a bridge beneath threatening storm clouds. In the middle ground stands the cotton-mill established by Borie, Laguerenne & Keating in 1825; it was one of eight large mills crowded together that by the early 1830s led to Manayunk being called the “Manchester of America.” Two of its smokestacks are ablaze with yellow and red fires.

Inexpensive water power and new technology concentrated the industry in Manayunk. The labor of immigrant children, who typically began work at age nine, and women generated the profits. An investigation of 1837 found the wages for children at between $.50 and $1.00 per week. Some of the youngest, according to the testimony of the Manayunk schoolmaster, earned no more than $.75 every two weeks. Women were paid about $2.00 a week. Almost immediately after the Factory Regulation Act of 1833 set a maximum ten-hour day for English textile workers, the demand for the same restrictions spread to the mills of Manayunk. The mostly female workers in the mills of J.J. Borie were among those who walked out over a 20 percent wage reduction in August 1833. The women protested over “thirteen hours of hard labor” and unhealthy working conditions. This led to the immediate formation of the Working People of Manayunk to mobilize workers and subsequently to the Trades Union of the City and County of Philadelphia (TUCCP). By May 1834 the triumphant workers were back at their jobs with a five percent raise. The subject matter of Lehman’s landscape encompasses significant stories about the American Industrial Revolution, transportation, and the beginning of labor movements that involved child labor and the employment of women at lower wages.

Lehman’s watercolor also contirbutes to an understanding of the history of early American watercolors and the development of landscape painting in the country after “The Hudson River Portfolio.” It also helps to tell more completely the epic story of Audubon’s The Birds of America” and demonstrates why Audubon engaged the artist as a collaborator.

Provenance: 
Bibliography: 
Prior Exhibitions: 
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1827
eMuseum Object ID: 
79788
Exclude from TMS update: 
3
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

PEE WEE

Classification: 
Is owned by NYHS: 
Yes
Object name: 
Date: 
2015
Medium: 
Graphite on paper
Dimensions: 
Sheet: 13 in. × 10 3/4 in. (33 × 27.3 cm)
Place Made: 
Description: 
Credit Line: 
Purchase, PECO Foundation Fund for Drawings
Object Number: 
2017.28
Marks: 
Inscriptions: 
Gallery Label: 

In her art Mary Reilly uses both powdered graphite and graphite lead to focus on the natural world within the limits of New York City’s five boroughs. “For me, working in graphite, using the techniques I’ve learned and have cultivated over the years, has been extremely gratifying. I tone my paper with up to eight layers of graphite before starting my drawing, taking the surface to a middle tone then pushing the darks and lifting the lights. This process creates subtle shifts in the tone that are in harmonious contrast with the sharpness of the minute details, helping me create a sensuality and a mood in each piece.” For subject matter she seeks out natural places often ignored by visitors and natives alike: serene parks and gardens away from the concrete streets. “Since my childhood, nature has had a profound effect on me in ways that I cherish. The state of mind that is installed within me when walking through the woods, or on a secluded beach by the sights and sounds, the smells, the sense of nostalgia, the timelessness and diversity of nature’s splendor.” This drawing belongs to the artist’s Graffiti Tree series.

“I found most of the images from my Graffiti Tree series within the woods of Alley Pond Park, Queens. Alley Pond Park has one of the ‘ancient forests of NYC’. I photographed graffiti trees in many parks within the five boroughs of NY but the trees in Alley Pond Park were by far the most plentiful and the most interesting, with carvings dating back to the 1930’s (as in ‘Jack Loves Kat’ from 1932). The forest that I found ‘Pee Wee’ in is now called the Thain Family Forest (formally known as ‘Historic Forest’) in the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. What I find interesting about these woods is that the carvings are all so different. Walking through the woods was like a trip back in time. Almost every tree had something carved on it which made me imagine the people from the surrounding neighborhoods walking into the park, whether it be kids drinking, smoking and hanging out, or lovers taking a stroll. I found the faceless initials carved on the trees and what might be the story behind them to be most interesting . . . I guess you can say that the history of the carvings is what inspired me to draw them.”

PEE WEE is the ambiguous tag of an early adolescent graffiti writer, who probably lived near this wildlife sanctuary. Its anonymous writer may have been a person of small stature or someone sad about the fact of being petite. Alternatively, PEE WEE may have had a surname beginning with a P, as that initial follows PEE WEE, adding an element of mystery to the sheet. The drawing has many connections with other objects in the N-YHS collections. The most obvious link is to the later urban graffiti drawing collection (as well as to the photographs of graffiti and the graffiti door). It also has a dialogue with hundreds of Asher B. Durand’s graphite drawings of trees, the artist’s magnificent obsession. Moreover, Reilly’s focused study of bark recalls a large number of the watercolors by John James Audubon for “The Birds of America,” as for him trees were a major roost for “the feathered tribes.” In fact, Audubon named one of his favorite birds, today known as the Eastern Phoebe, “Pewees.” He applied silver threads to the legs of individuals from a family of this species, becoming the first person in history to practice bird banding.

Provenance: 
Bibliography: 
Prior Exhibitions: 
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
2015
eMuseum Object ID: 
79720
Exclude from TMS update: 
3
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Clay's Last Workout Before Liston Fight

Classification: 
Is owned by NYHS: 
Yes
Object name: 
Date: 
February 21, 1964
Medium: 
Mixed media and collage on paper
Dimensions: 
Sheet: 16 3/4 × 27 1/2 in. (42.5 × 69.9 cm) Framed: 19 3/4 × 30 1/2 × 1 1/4 in. (50.2 × 77.5 × 3.2 cm)
Place Made: 
Description: 
Credit Line: 
Gift of the LeRoy Neiman Foundation
Object Number: 
2017.23
Marks: 
Inscriptions: 

Inscribed extensively by the artist in many media

Gallery Label: 

Muhammad Ali (1942–2016) was one of the greatest boxers of all time. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., in Louisville, Kentucky, he was a legendary, three-time heavyweight champion and a courageous, popular, but polarizing public figure. He captured the world’s attention with his provocative style, bold statements, and strong political and religious convictions.

LeRoy Neiman is widely known for his brilliantly colored paintings and the energetic style he used to capture sporting events and leisure activities. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, Neiman studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. From 1960 until his death, Neiman traveled the world, observing and painting leisure life, social activities, and athletic competitions, including the Olympics, the Super Bowl, and championship boxing. Of the many subjects Neiman painted, his long-time friend Muhammad Ali was among his favorites. The two men met in May 1962 at St. Nick’s Arena in New York City before Clay fought Billy Daniels. Neiman immediately began drawing the young boxer, and they struck up a lasting friendship. By this time, Clay had already won an Olympic gold medal in Rome and boasted that he was sure to beat heavyweight champion Sonny Liston. Neiman followed Ali throughout the boxer’s storied career, capturing public and private moments. He also taught Ali drawing. They shared a love of boxing, the limelight, and breaking with convention. LeRoy Neiman’s works are in the permanent collections of many American museums, including the Smithsonian, the Whitney Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as in private and corporate collections.

On February 25, 1964, the twenty-two-year-old Clay had his desired match-up with Liston in Miami Beach. The odds were seven to one against him, as Liston had knocked out the previous champion, Floyd Patterson, in one round, so that even his financial backers expected disaster. For months Clay taunted Liston with a barrage of insults and other antics aimed at psychologically gaining an advantage. The weigh-in the morning of the fight was no different. “I’m the champ!” he hollered. I’m ready to rumble! Tell Sonny I’m here! He ain’t no champ! Round eight to prove I’m great! Bring that big ugly bear on!” Against Clay’s fast reflexes and quick feet, Liston had a hard time landing punches. As Neiman noted in his sketch, “Cassius prancing, dancing side-to-side, actually seems to tower over the lumbering heavy-footed champion.” After six rounds, Liston sat in his corner and refused to get up. Clay, realizing he was now the heavyweight champion, yelled, “I am the king! King of the world! I don’t have a mark on my face and I upset Sonny Liston!”

This collage records the last workout before the Liston-Clay fight, which Neiman was covering for Playboy magazine. Among the notable vignettes Neiman depicted on the sheet are the men in Clay’s corner, such as the boxer Sugar Ray Robinson and his trainer Angelo Dundee. To finish the work in his studio, the artist consulted the scenes he recorded ringside in a sketchbook. Neiman also made many annotations around the edges of the work, including the press predictions for the fight heavily in favor of Liston and attached ephemera to make it a collage (including a ticket for the fight in the upper left corner).

Provenance: 

The artist and his family

Bibliography: 
Prior Exhibitions: 
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
0
eMuseum Object ID: 
78589
Exclude from TMS update: 
3
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Theodore Roosevelt: Study for the Cover of "Saturday Evening Post"

Date: 
1904-1905
Medium: 
Gouache, watercolor, black ink, and graphite on heavy illustration board
Dimensions: 
Overall: 11 5/8 × 11 15/16 in. (29.5 × 30.3 cm) Image: 8 7/8 × 9 1/2 in. (22.5 × 24.1 cm)
Description: 
Published March 4, 1905, Roosevelt's inauguration day for his second term, following his first election as President. In his first term he had been elected Vice-President and assumed the presidency after McKinley's assassination.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Merrill C. Berman
Object Number: 
2013.28
Gallery Label: 
An innovative commericial poster designer, illustrator, and painter, Edward Penfield produced some of America's finest posters at the turn of the twentieth century, during the short-lived Golden Age of American poster art. He studied intermittently with George De Forest Brush, a leading force in American Impressionism, at the Art Students League in New York City. At the age of twenty-four, during a pivotal time in American graphic design, Penfield became art editor of Harper's Magazine, and shortly later of Harper's Weekly and Harper's Bazaar. Over the next decade, he continued to work both as an artist and an art editor for the Harper publications, seeking out and encouraging the best talent in the country. He resigned his post in 1901 to devote more time to his own art. In the ensuing years Penfield painted several murals - such as those in the breakfast room of Harvard University's Randolph Hall, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Rochester Country Club in Rochester, New York - but devoted most of his attention to poster designs that were influenced by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Aubrey Beardsley, Theophile Steinlen, and Japanese "Ukiyo-e" or "floating world" prints. He became, along with Will Bradley, one of the most important exponents of American poster art. Penfield also designed magazine covers for Collier's Weekly and Harper's Monthly, as well as commerical advertisements and numerous calendars. In addition he wrote articles for Scribner's Magazine and Outing and executed design work for the Beck Engraving Company of Philadelphia (1908-25). A product of the Arts and Crafts idealism, Penfield advocated hand production and studio design over machine-made art. A cat fancier, Penfield was also known for his portrayals of felines, as in a cover and poster for the May 1896 issue of Harper's. In addition, he served on the art committee ofthe Salmagundi Club, was enlisted to produce posters for the government's Division of Pictorial Publicity during World War I, illustrated many books and magazines, and designed covers for the Saturday Evening Post, Scribner's Magazine, and The Ladies' Home Journal. The artist exhibited his work at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair and in serveral of the yearly exhibitions of the American Watercolor Society. In his post as art director for Harper's magazines, and through his teaching at the Art Students League, Penfield exerted a profound influence on American illustration. In 1915-16 he taught two courses indicative of the incresing demand for commericial art training in the country: Commericial Draughtsmanship and Posters and Lettering. Having served as president of the Society of Illustrators in 1921-23, he was posthumously elected to the Illustrators' Hall of Fame in 1998. This profile portrait of Theodore Roosevelt was the study for the cover of the "Roosevelt Number" of The Saturday Evening Post. That periodical was one of the most important weekly magazines for news and culture in America at the turn of the twentieth century, and 1905 was the year after Roosevelt had successfully run for election, after assuming the presidency following the assassanition of William McKinley Jr. Roosevelt is portrayed in a very different manner from the dignified pose in Penfield's study for The Saturday Evening Post; he grins from behind his moustache and spectacles, wears a red bandanna and belted khaki shirt, and totes a red book titled "Africa" and a rifle. The handle of this 1909 pitcher takes the form of an elephant's head and trunk.
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1905
eMuseum Object ID: 
69933
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Sketchbook

Classification: 
Date: 
1922
Medium: 
Watercolor, graphite, and crayon on lined paper, bound as a "Record" book
Dimensions: 
Overall: 6 3/4 × 4 1/4 × 1/4 in. (17.1 × 10.8 × 0.6 cm)
Credit Line: 
Gift of Miriam Schapiro Grosof, in memory of a friendship
Object Number: 
2013.11
Inscriptions: 
Multiple inscriptions and annotations in graphite
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1922
eMuseum Object ID: 
69404
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Breezy Point 3

Classification: 
Date: 
2011
Medium: 
Graphite on paper
Dimensions: 
Sheet: 38 × 50 in. (96.5 × 127 cm)
Credit Line: 
Gift of the artist
Object Number: 
2013.6
Gallery Label: 
Mary Reilly, who was born in 1963 in Yorktown, New York, has been a resident of New York City for over two decades. She studied at the Art Students League, The School of Visual Arts, and the National Academy design, where she was a student of Frederick Brosen (who is also represented in the N-YHS collection) and where she exhibited work in its 2001 Annual exhibition. The artist currently works solely in graphite and is known for her meticulous studies of nature, especially plants and trees, which reveal her to be working in the tradition of Asher B. Durand. She uses both powdered graphite and graphite lead to focus on the natural world within the limits of New York City’s five boroughs. For subject matter she seeks out natural places often ignored by visitors and natives alike: serene parks and gardens away from the concrete streets. “Since my childhood, nature has had a profound affect on me in ways that I cherish. The state of mind that is installed within me when walking through the woods, or on a secluded beach by the sights and sounds, the smells, the sense of nostalgia, the timelessness and diversity of nature’s splendor.” Reilly’s artwork has been featured in American Artist Magazine (Spring 2004 and December 2008). Breezy Point 3 is a tour-de-force drawing that derives from the time the artist spent at the beach in Queens before Hurricane Nicole in 2010. Reilly worked on the hallucinatory drawing for nine months, during which time the seascape became transformed into a nocturnal, moonlit scene with a slightly foreboding intimation of the potentially destructive power of the sea. While exquisitely rendered, the work in retrospect is poignant and prophetic. Hurricane Nicole, which only brought rough surf and winds to Breezy Point, was but a prelude to the damage wrecked on the area in 2012 by Hurricane Sandy. Even though several collectors have been interested in Breezy Point 3, Mary Reilly decided that in light of the recent devastation of Hurricane Sandy and its timely subject, she would prefer to gift it to a New York institution. As the work’s title implies, the artist executed two earlier, smaller “Breezy Point” drawings. The first depicted a sand dune (2008, private collection), while the second was another ocean/sky view similar to this, but less dramatic (2010). Arguably, the third in the series is the most powerful, and marks a departure for Reilly, as the abstract qualities of it have sparked her desire to pursue investigating New York City seascapes. Breezy Point, now infamous after Hurricane Sandy, is a neighborhood in the borough of Queens, which because of its Irish-American population has been called the “Irish Riviera.” It is located at the western end of the Rockaway peninsula, between Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay on the landward side and the Atlantic Ocean. Breezy Point and the Rockaways are less urbanized than most of New York City. It is home to three of the ten volunteer fire companies of New York. Breezy Point Tip, to the west of the community, is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, which is run by the National Park Service. This isolated 200-acre area and its sand dunes, shoreline, and marshland is a breeding spot for a number of avian species, some of which are endangered or threatened. On October 29, 2012, much of Breezy Point was destroyed by the events of Hurricane Sandy. It was first subjected to extensive flooding and by 11:00 p.m. a six-alarm fire was reported on Oceanside Avenue. The neighborhood was quickly engulfed in raging fires, causing much destruction. Due to high flood levels, local volunteer firefighters were trapped in and the FDNY out of Breezy Point. Help could not reach the scene until the flood receded. On arrival, the FDNY faced several blocks of houses ablaze. According to later reports, 111 homes were destroyed and an additional 20 damaged.
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
2011
eMuseum Object ID: 
69333
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Caricature of Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

Classification: 
Date: 
1962
Medium: 
Pen and black ink on ivory paper
Dimensions: 
Sheet: 7 3/16 × 4 7/16 in. (18.3 × 11.3 cm)
Credit Line: 
Given in memory of Laurie Vance Johnson and E. Dudley H. Johnson
Object Number: 
2012.39
Gallery Label: 
David Levine was an artist and illustrator best known for his caricatures published in the New York Review of Books. Jules Feiffer called him the “greatest caricaturist of the last half of the 20th Century.” Born in Brooklyn, he studied painting at Pratt Institute, at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, and with Hans Hofmann. Most of his paintings were destroyed in a fire and he turned to illustration. A job at Esquire in the early 1960s saw Levine develop his skills as a political illustrator. His first work for The New York Review of Books appeared in 1963, and he drew more than 3,800 pen-and-ink caricatures of famous writers, politicians, and artists for that publication. The other half of his work was published in Esquire (1,000 drawings), The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, and elsewhere. As a prolific caricaturist for these and other magazines, Levine distinguished his process from that of political cartoonists: “I could take time to really look it over and think about it, read the articles and so on. The political cartoonists don’t get a chance. The headlines are saying this and this about so-and-so, and you have to come up with something which is approved by an editor. I almost never had to get an approval. In forty years I may have run into a disagreement with The New York Review maybe two times.” One of his favorite subjects during the 1960s and 1970s was Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl of Russell, a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic. At various points in his life, Russell considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacificist, but he also admitted that he had never been any of these in any profound sense. Russell led the British “revolt against idealism” in the early twentieth century and is considered a founder of analytic philosophy, along with his protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein. Today he is widely held to be one of that century’s premier logicians and, together with Alfred North Whitehead, he co-authored Principia Mathematica, an attempt to ground mathematics on logic. Russell’s work has had considerable influence on many fields: among them logic, mathematics, set theory, linguistics, computer science, as well as philosophy of language, epistemology, and metaphysics. For his entire adult life Russell was a prominent anti-war activist. He championed anti-imperialism and went to prison for his pacifism during World War I. Later, he campaigned against Adolf Hitler, then criticized Stalinist totalitarianism, attacked the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, and was an outspoken proponent of nuclear disarmament. In 1950 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature “in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought.” He had many contacts with Americans and married—then later divorced—a Bryn Mawr graduate. Before WWII Russell taught at the University of Chicago, later moving on to Los Angeles to lecture at UCLA. In 1940 he was appointed professor at City College of New York, but after a public outcry, the appointment was annulled by a court judgment: his opinions (especially those relating to sexual morality, detailed in Marriage and Morals ten years earlier) made him “morally unfit” to teach at the college. The protest was started by the mother of a student who would not have been eligible for his graduate-level course in mathematical logic. Many intellectuals, led by John Dewy, protested against his treatment. Albert Einstein penned his famous aphorism “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds” in his open letter to support Russell during this period. Russell soon joined the Barnes Foundation, lecturing to a varied audience on the history of philosophy, but his relationship soon soured with the eccentric Albert C. Barnes, and he returned to Britain in 1944 to rejoin the faculty of Trinity College. Later, he became very involved with the American peace movement, beginning in 1962 with the Cuban Missile Crisis and continuing with the counterculture anti-Vietnam debate.
Date Begin: 
0
Date End: 
1962
eMuseum Object ID: 
69307
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - DRAWINGS
Creative: Tronvig Group