Monthly Archives: March 2012

CHARLES SHEELER: American Landscape, c. 1930

The only trace of humanity in Charles Sheeler’s austere American Landscape is a tiny figure scurrying across the railroad tracks. With one arm outstretched, he appears frozen in action, as if in a snapshot, precisely halfway between two uncoupled freight … Continue reading

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WILLIAM VAN ALEN : The Chrysler Building, c. 1926–1930

The Chrysler Building could only have been constructed in the competitive climate of Manhattan in the 1920s. The American economy was flourishing, and there was not enough office space to go around; urban builders were encouraged to aim high. In … Continue reading

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Joseph Stella: Brooklyn Bridge c. 1919–1920

To Joseph Stella and other progressive artists of the early twentieth century, the timeworn conventions of European painting seemed powerless to convey the dynamism of modern life. An Italian immigrant, Stella arrived in New York City at a time of … Continue reading

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MARY CASSATT: The Boating Party, 1893/1894

Mary Cassatt decided to become an artist at age sixteen, when most women of her era and social status were looking forward only to marriage. Defying convention, she studied art in Philadelphia before heading to Europe and settling in Paris, … Continue reading

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