Tuesday, December 9, 2008

We Still Have One "Winter Scene in Brooklyn"

As numerous media outlets have reported, The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas has acquired a painting near and dear to Brooklyn's heart: "Winter Scene in Brooklyn" painted by Franicis Guy around 1818-19.

But, before we get too up in arms, we should recall that Guy painted more than one "Winter Scene in Brooklyn" with some slight variations in how he depicted the weather and people, and that one of them is still owned by the Brooklyn Museum and is always on display for us to admire. And the Brooklyn Historical Society owns Guy's "Summer View of Brooklyn." (The Brooklyn Museum also owns Guy's "View of Baltimore from Chapel Hill.") Anyone know if there is a Fall and Spring?

Guy painted what he saw outside his window on 11 Front St., and thus gives us a rare glimpse at the tiny village of Brooklyn that developed around the Fulton Ferry before it grew into a big city that swallowed the rest of Kings County, and ultimately, of course, became a bustling borough of our fare metropolis, New York City.

Many of the people depicted in Guy's painting are based on actual people that lived there in the Fulton Ferry Landing area. One of them is Jacob Patchen - the biggest cranky-pants ever to tread the cobblestoned streets of Kings County. I first stumbled upon the Guy paintings while researching Patchen for an article in the The Brooklyn Eagle. [Jacob Patchen’s Fight Against Brooklyn Development].
Speaking of Brooklyn-oriented artwork, the New York Times this week reported that Green-Wood Cemetery is acquiring quite a collection. They are buying up pieces by some of the artists laid to rest there. [Green-Wood Cemetery Builds a Collection].


1 comment:

Binger said...

Very cool, I love it! Keep blogging!
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