The Bowery by Albert Abramovitz

The Bowery by Albert Abramovitz

The Bowery

Albert Abramovitz

Title

The Bowery

 
Artist
Year
c. 1935  
Technique
blockprint 
Image Size
11 x 8 9/16" image size 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
under 25 
Annotations
initialed within block 
Reference
 
Paper
smooth cream wove 
State
published 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
20230 
Price
$650.00 
Description

Albert Abramovitz was born in Russia in 1879 and came to America in 1916. Abramowitz did a number of prints for the New York WPA-PWAP (Public Works of Art Project) many of which depicted the trials and every-day lives of people during the Great Depression.

This composition is a poignant example of Abramovitz's use of social commentary in his imagery. Unemployed men gather on the street under the Third Avenue El in the Bowery in lower Manhattan during the Great Depression. Each is alienated from his companions, they are all in the same boat - waiting for a job, a meal or anything that can help them make it to tomorrow - each resigned to the fact that it will not happen today.

After the war, between the 1940s and 1970s, the already impoverished Bowery area became New York's "Skid Row", a haven for alcoholics and homeless and full of "flophouses". Gentrification in the 1990s changed the landscape and it is now a destination for restaurants, galleries and new housing.