1934 Thomas James Delbridge Born: Atlanta, Georgia 1894 Died: New York 1968 oil on canvas 26 1/8 x 30 1/4 in. (66.3 x 76.9 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Transfer from the U.S. Department of Labor 1964.1.51 Not currently on view
Lower Manhattan's glorious skyscrapers inspired all New Yorkers, including the city's artists, through the worst hardships of the Great Depression. Looking from the dock of a harbor island, Thomas Delbridge showed the dark mouths of Manhattan's ferry terminals; above them ever taller buildings climb out of red shadows into gold and white sunshine. The crisply outlined forms evoke such famous structures as the Woolworth Building to the left and the Singer Building to the right without placing the buildings precisely or describing specific details. The skyscraper at the center suggests the mighty Empire State Building as it had stood incomplete before its triumphant opening on May 1, 1931. Even as the stock market foundered and thousands were thrown out of work, New Yorkers had gathered in excited throngs to watch their tallest tower rise. The Manhattan skyscrapers in the painting appear to be pushing back dark clouds, creating an oasis of brilliant blue around the island.
1934: A New Deal for Artists exhibition label
Architecture Exterior - commercial - skyscraper
Cityscape - New York New York
Cityscape - wharf
Waterscape - harbor - New York Harbor
New Deal - Public Works of Art Project - New York City
paint - oil
fabric - canvas
About Thomas James Delbridge
Born: Atlanta, Georgia 1894 Died: New York 1968
Blogs, Podcasts, and More
- Eye Level: Manhattan in Black and White and Color
- Eye Level: Take the Richard Estes Challenge
- Eye Level: 1934 All Over Again
- Eye Level: Jenny Holzer: Word on the Street
- Eye Level: 9-11 Up-Close and Far Away
- Eye Level: What's LOVE Got to do with it?: Barbara Haskell on ...
- Eye Level: Wall Street
- Eye Level
- Eye Level: States of Grace: Remembering Grace Hartigan ...
- Eye Level: In This Case: Guitar