Childe Hassam (American, 18591935)
Oil on canvas; 36 x 28 3/8 in. (91.4 x 72.1 cm)
Bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot (18761967), 1967 (67.187.127)
During World War I, Hassam painted views of New York's Fifth Avenue decorated as "the Avenue of the Allies." This painting depicts part of the most ambitious flag display, held between September 28 and October 19, 1918, in support of the Fourth Liberty Loan Drive. This spectacle was planned by a committee of artists and architects and involved the decoration of Fifth Avenue between 26th and 58th Streets. Here, Hassam looked north from Fifty-third Street and compressed into a vibrant pattern three blocks dedicated to flags of Great Britain, Brazil, and Belgium. The artist painted at least thirty flag pictures and these were exhibited often in groups of twenty-two, as a reminder of the number of allied nations.