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Robert Schonfeld

Ashcan Redux

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One aspect of the gritty school of American art called Ashcan was its attention to the explosive growth of the city at the turn of the 20th century. As New York entered the age of the skyscraper, Bellows, Sloan and all the rest were here to paint it. Examples abound in almost any illustrated book on American art of the period.


But if you'd like a first hand look at a municipal construction project on a large scale, go over to the East River between 51st and about 60th streets, where a bypass to the FDR Drive is being constructed in the river. Cranes, barges, piers, enormous pieces of steel and waves of concrete; the clank of steam engines and hardbitten crew muscling loads of industrial goods, all serve to remind that this city is in a constant state of renewal, rebuilding and reinventing itself. It's quite a sight to see.


This board is that too. Thanks, Wilfrid.

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