The Edward W. C. Arnold Collection of New York Prints, Maps, and Pictures, Bequest of Edward W. C. Arnold, 1954
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 757
Schenck painted this precise representation of the Third Avenue Railroad Company’s new depot while serving as the company’s superintendent (1856–64). Completed in 1857 (and destroyed just four years later by fire), the handsome brick edifice was located on Third Avenue between 65th and 66th Streets in New York City. In addition to highlighting the contemporary popularity of the horse-drawn streetcar, Schenck also included a hot-air balloon in the sky, identified in tiny letters as the Atlantic. The balloon’s owners, John Wise and John LaMountain, hoped to fly it across the Atlantic Ocean to initiate an entirely new form of transportation, but they never succeeded.
Signature: [at lower right]: 3RD AV. R.R. DEPOT' PAINTE[D BY WM] H. SCHENCK, SUPT.
Inscription: [at lower left]: DEDICATED TO WM A. DARLING ESQ PRESIDENT OF 3RD AVE. R.R.Co.
Marking: [stamped on canvas on the back]: FROM / M. TOCH & BROS. / 33 BOWERY / N.Y. / Importers of / PAINTS OILS GLASS & WHOLESALE DEALERS