New York City as Art or Imaging the City. A spectacular exhibition containing prints and paintings from 1671 to contemporary artists using New York City in their art. The Old Print Shop, January 10 – February 7, 2015
The exhibition covers almost 350 years of art based on New York City as a theme. The earliest is Ogilby’s Novum Amsterodamum from 1671 and ends with images by a group of contemporary artists.
The earliest images of New York City, (then only Manhattan) date from the third quarter of the seventeenth-century. Very few were produced as there was not much here with the exception of a great natural harbor and a navigable river. During the eighteenth-century there are a few images of New York City produced and in interesting group of maps. The real romance of images of New York City begins with the Hudson River School era. So many artists arrived in New York to paint the Hudson River that a few stayed and began capturing important images of the ever changing New York City. By the middle of the nineteenth-century New York City boasted some of the largest print publishers in the US and many artist’s picturing the city. One of the popular items were birds- eye views and many different views were produced of New York City between 1850 and 1880. In the twentieth- century New York City became an art project. So many artist’s drew inspiration from the city that space would not allow me to name the all, however, a short list include Berenice Abbott, John Taylor Arms. George Bellows, Thomas Hart Benton, Howard Cook, Childe Hassam, Edward Hopper, Armin Landeck, Martin Lewis, Louis Lozowick, John Marin, and Stow Wengenroth. Contemporary artists continue to use New York City in their art, as a backdrop, as an expression or design.