Research: Luce Center for American Art

Trinity Church and Wall Street
Accession #30.1109
Artist Bertram Hartman
TitleTrinity Church and Wall Street
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions50 x 30 in. (127.0 x 76.2 cm)
Credit LineJohn B. Woodward Memorial Fund
LocationAmerican Identities: Modern Life

Curatorial Remarks:

This dramatic bird's-eye view of Manhattan's Wall Street invites consideration of the technological and market energies of the modern world. Skyscrapers loom above older buildings, planes fly overhead, and people crowd the sidewalks of the famous financial district. Bertram Hartman's meaning may not be quite so straightforward, however. He painted Trinity Church and Wall Street in the year of a great stock market crash that devastated the nation's economy. Is it possible that by showing the gothic spires of Trinity Church overshadowed by skyscapers, Hartman intended his viewers to contemplate the relationship between spiritual and rnaterial needs in modern life?