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Delmonico Building

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Delmonico Building

Artist: Charles Sheeler (American, 1883 - 1965)

Date: 1927
Medium: Lithograph on paper
Overall: 15 3/8 x 11 5/16in. (39.1 x 28.7cm)
Image: 9 3/4 x 6 11/16in. (24.8 x 17cm)
Signed: l.r.:'Charles Sheeler 1927'
Credit Line: Gift of Edward W. Root
Object number: 53.354
Label Text
Delmonico’s was a popular New York City restaurant in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It closed during Prohibition due to a loss of patronage. The building, on Fifth Avenue at 44th Street, was razed and in its place rose the 36-story Central Mercantile Bank Building. So famous was the restaurant, however, the new structure was referred to as “The Delmonico Building,” as in the title of Charles Sheeler’s lithograph.

Sheeler emphasized the height of the newly constructed skyscraper by depicting it from sidewalk level looking up (and up and up). He also focused on a blank white wall rather than the building’s ornamented façade, the details of which could have distracted the viewer’s attention from appreciating the striking angle of ascent.

[source: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History / The Metropolitan Museum of Art]

Mary E. Murray
Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

Orphaned work.