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Art and the Empire City: New York, 1825–1861

September 19, 2000–January 7, 2001

Architecture, 1825–1840

Many of New York's great public buildings of the era (most no longer extant), as well as both typical and visionary housing projects, were executed in the Grecian style. Architectural drawings of compelling clarity and beauty illustrate the style that dominated the period between 1825 and about 1840, on view in the third gallery. In addition to original presentation drawings, the gallery includes selections from a masterpiece of early New York lithography, Alexander Jackson Davis's Views of the Public Buildings in the City of New York Correctly Drawn on Stone (1827), printed by Anthony Imbert. Two of the works from the series, the Rotunda—a building in City Hall Park constructed in 1818–20 to house John Vanderlyn's grand panorama of the gardens and the palace at Versailles—and the facade of the Branch Bank of the United States, are of particular interest because both the panorama and the facade can be seen on permanent display in the Metropolitan Museum's American Wing.