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New York Back Yard Scene

Object Number: 
1974.58
Date: 
1924
Medium: 
oil on artboard
Dimensions: 
Overall: 12 x 16 x 1 in. ( 30.5 x 40.6 x 2.5 cm ) Frame: 17 3/4 x 21 1/2 in. (45.1 x 54.6 cm)
Description: 
Separated from several residential buildings by two stone walls and a street are five children, four of whom are sitting on a bench on the side of first wall. The children appear to be clapping in amusement to a blonde woman in a white dress who is dancing on the cracked sidewalk. In the center background is a multi-level white building with two stores of windows. Towards the right is a red building, equipped with fire escapes and half covered in shadow. White clothes adorn the backyard and stretch from the red building to a patch of trees at the far left. Also, white sheets are sprawled on the further wall, which is separated from the houses by a street. Signed in lower right: Howard Thain '24
Gallery Label: 
Known for depicting some of NYC's poorest blocks, Howard Thain uses "New York Back Yard Scene" to represent a run of the mill day in a lower income NYC neighborhood during the roaring twenties. This painting provides a fascinating look at the working class mixture of daily responsibilities, as represented by hanging laundry, with archetypal roaring twenties revelry, as shown by the footloose bobbed-haired woman in white being applauded by plainly dressed children.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Mrs. Howard Thain
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group