Childe Hassam (American, 18591935)
Oil on canvas; 18 1/8 x 20 3/4 in. (46 x 52.7 cm)
Gift of Ethelyn McKinney, in memory of her brother, Glenn Ford McKinney, 1943 (43.116.1)
This view of Manhattan, once called "Madison Square, New York," depicts the area bounded by 23rd and 26th Streets where Broadway and Fifth Avenue converge. While discussing the picture in 1892, Hassam said his intention was to focus upon the group of cabs in the foreground and to have "the lines in the composition radiate and gradually fade out from the centre." He also noted that "all those people and horses and vehicles didn't arrange themselves for my especial benefit. I had to catch them, bit by bit, as they flitted past." The painting was reworked sometime between 1895, when it was illustrated in a catalogue of the annual St. Louis Exposition, and 1899, when it appeared in a book by Hassam. One change was the elimination of a group of people in the right foreground, which today has left an unfortunate pentimento.