John Henry Twachtman (1853–1902), Dredging in the River, ca. 1879
Oil on canvas Gift of the Elie and Sarah Hirschfeld Collection, Scenes of New York City, 2020.35.4
This grab dredger heaves wreckage, likely from the East River after the blasting of hazardous rocks from the ship graveyard known as Hell Gate. As Twachtman’s student noted, “There is no endeavor to make the subject poetically picturesque.” The dark tones and slashing brushwork stress instead the violence of industry.
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