Lower Manhattan

  • Thomas James Delbridge, Lower Manhattan, 1934, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the U.S. Department of Labor, 1964.1.51

Exhibition Label
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

Title
Lower Manhattan
Artist
Date
1934
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
26 1/8 x 30 1/4 in. (66.3 x 76.9 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Transfer from the U.S. Department of Labor

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Architecture Exterior – commercial – skyscraper
  • New Deal – Public Works of Art Project – New York City
  • Cityscape – New York – New York
  • Cityscape – wharf
  • Waterscape – harbor – New York Harbor
Object Number
1964.1.51
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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