Exhibitions/ City of Memory: William Chappel's Views of Early 19th-Century New York

City of Memory: William Chappel's Views of Early 19th-Century New York

At The Met Fifth Avenue
November 15, 2016–May 14, 2017
Exhibitions are free with Museum admission.

Exhibition Overview

William P. Chappel (1801–1878), a tinsmith and amateur painter, depicted scenes of early 19th-century New York City. This exhibition will feature 27 small oil paintings from The Met collection that were probably executed late in the artist's life. Chappel's meticulously detailed images of street peddlers, artisan workshops, and swimmers cooling off in the East River—the kinds of commonplace scenes that were seldom documented—provide a rare glimpse of urban life 200 years ago.


William Chappel's Manhattan, ca. 1808

map of lower Manhattan

View a map of lower Manhattan (PDF) that marks the precise locations Chappel depicted in 24 of the paintings on view in this exhibition.

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 773

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Exhibition Objects



William P. Chappel (American, 1801–1878). Buttermilk Pedlar (detail), 1870s. Oil on slate paper, 6 3/16 x 9 5/16 in. (15.7 x 23.6 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Edward W. C. Arnold Collection of New York Prints, Maps, and Pictures, Bequest of Edward W. C. Arnold, 1954 (54.90.498)