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The Way the City is Built

Charles Henry Miller

American Art

Charles Miller had a preservationist’s interest in the historic buildings and landmarks that were rapidly disappearing throughout New York and Long Island. This Harlem scene represents the modern urban landscape in transition: a hill on which stands an old cottage is being razed for the construction of more multistory tenements like the ones at right. Miller’s unvarnished realism and broad brushwork reveal the influence of progressive trends in European art, which he would have observed while studying at the Royal Academy in Munich after abandoning a medical career in 1867.
MEDIUM Watercolor with graphite pencil underdrawing on moderately textured, moderately thick, cream, wove paper (cold-pressed watercolor paper)
DATES 1877
DIMENSIONS 12 7/8 x 18 1/2 in. (32.7 x 47 cm) Frame: 24 x 30 x 1 1/2 in. (61 x 76.2 x 3.8 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed lower right: "CH Miller. May 77"
CREDIT LINE Dick S. Ramsay Fund
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Charles Henry Miller (American, 1842–1922). The Way the City is Built, 1877. Watercolor with graphite pencil underdrawing on moderately textured, moderately thick, cream, wove paper (cold-pressed watercolor paper), 12 7/8 x 18 1/2 in. (32.7 x 47 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 50.149.2 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 50.149.2_PS2.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 50.149.2_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2006
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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