The Cathedrals of Broadway

Florine Stettheimer American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 902

The Cathedrals of Broadway captures the magical atmosphere of neon-lit theaters, which offered films as well as live performances. As the United States entered the Great Depression, many Americans turned to the world of entertainment to escape reality. Here, New York’s mayor Jimmy Walker throws out the first pitch of the baseball season in a cinema newsreel. An elaborate stage show takes place below the screen, while the names of famous theaters glow around the central proscenium arch. Stettheimer gives little hint of the harsh conditions that confronted many New Yorkers in the 1930s.

The Cathedrals of Broadway, Florine Stettheimer (American, Rochester, New York 1871–1944 New York, New York), Oil on canvas

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