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The Blue Peter

Isabel Lydia Whitney

American Art

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.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES 1927–1928
DIMENSIONS 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)
SIGNATURE Signed lower right: Isabel Whitney
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. James H. Hayes
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Brooklyn Heights circa 1927. A view of the harbor from the dead end of Remsen street.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION 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)
IMAGE overall, 54.20_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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