The Blue Peter
Isabel Lydia Whitney
On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Beyond Borders and Boundaries, 20th and 21st Centuries
Modernizing the Urban Landscape
By the late 1920s, signs of modernization and industrialization were intruding on the residential neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights, where Isabel Lydia Whitney grew up. The Emerald Tower and The Blue Peter are part of a series of works Whitney painted about 1927 of the changing area. Exhibited in 1928, the series was praised for its honest depiction of the American scene and “the poignancy of transition.”
In The Emerald Tower, the iconic Brooklyn Bridge is relegated to the far distance, and the painting is dominated instead by the new Squibb building, part of a manufacturing plant for a pharmaceutical company. The masts, smokestacks, and rigging seen in The Blue Peter hint at the encroachment of waterfront commerce.
Oil on canvas
18 x 23 15/16 in. (45.7 x 60.8 cm)
Frame: 20 3/4 x 26 3/4 x 1 1/2 in. (52.7 x 67.9 x 3.8 cm) (show scale)
Signed lower right: Isabel Whitney
Gift of Mrs. James H. Hayes
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Isabel Lydia Whitney (American, 1884-1962). The Blue Peter, 1927-1928. Oil on canvas, 18 x 23 15/16 in. (45.7 x 60.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. James H. Hayes, 54.20 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 54.20_SL1.jpg)
overall, 54.20_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Brooklyn Heights circa 1927. A view of the harbor from the dead end of Remsen street.
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