Exhibitions: Picturing Place: Francis Guy's Brooklyn, 1820

Key to Franklin Guy's Winter Snow Scene

"Key to Guy's Brooklyn Snow Scene" published in Henry R. Stiles, History of the City of Brooklyn . . . (Brooklyn, 1867–70). Both the image and the corresponding text are reproduced from Stiles's publication. This key is based on the Museum's painting in its original form; many of the numbered items also correspond to the version in the private collection.

Francis Guy's images of downtown Brooklyn on a winter day are replete with realistic details and charming vignettes—features that have captivated viewers since the paintings' creation. Many of the buildings and individuals can be identified through period descriptions and the key.

At the far left (section lost in Museum's painting), Augustus Graham (no. 20), a businessman and future founder of the Museum, converses with his neighbor Joshua Sands (no. 21) in front of Graham's new brick town house (no. 15). The white building on the opposite corner is Benjamin Meeker's carpenter shop (no. 10). Meeker himself appears nearby holding a pole and carpenter's square (no. 27) and talking with Judge John Garrison (no. 28). Occupying the center of the compositions is the "Dutch-style" barnyard and slaughterhouse of Abiel Titus (no. 9), who feeds his chickens in the gateway (no. 31). The large yellow structure at the right is Thomas Birdsall's home, hardware store, and post office (no. 1) with Sam Foster, an African American chimney sweep, peeping out of a chimney (no. 35, in the Museum picture only). Some of the unidentified figures include the men who work with the piles of wood and coal in the foreground, and a boy who has slipped on the ice near the water pump.