William James Glackens (American, 1870–1938)
Oil on canvas
25 x 30 in. (63.5 x 76.2 cm)
George A. Hearn Fund, 1921 (21.164)
Glackens portrays a group of well-behaved children sledding down a gentle slope in New York's Central Park under the watchful eyes of adults who dot the perimeter of a snowy knoll. The children are warmly dressed and the adults are fashionably clothed, signaling that this is a story of middle-class recreation. Despite their nominal commitment to telling the unvarnished truth about modern life and urban hardship, Glackens and other Ashcan artists viewed their world through rose-colored glasses, presenting the city euphemistically and, as here, depicting people at leisure in quasi-rural surroundings rather than in their overcrowded home neighborhoods.