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#21 Edmund William Greacen – Brooklyn Bridge, East River



Edmund William Greacen (American, 1877 – 1949), Brooklyn Bridge, East River, 1916, oil on canvas, 37 x 37 ½ in., Gift of Mr. and Mrs.. Rene Faure (Daughter of Edmond Greacen, Nan Greacen Faure), AG.1972.2.1.

This view of the Brooklyn Bridge was probably painted from the roof of Edmund Greacen’s building on East 18th Street, the first apartment building erected in all of New York. With his use of broken brushwork and sketchy atmospheric color, the artist captured several aspects of the big city. He juxtaposed the gritty energetic foreground of industrial buildings with the beautifully subdued and suffused background of the East River and the Brooklyn skyline.

Edmund Greacen studied painting at the Art Students League in New York. Between 1906 and 1909 he lived in Paris and Giverny studying the works of the French Impressionists, particularly those of Claude Monet (1840-1926). The admission of several of his paintings to the Paris Salon attests to his early success. Greacen returned to America and opened the first of two art schools in New York and exerted great influence as a teacher.

“One of the best memories I have is of walking across the Brooklyn Bridge the day before moving to Jacksonville and the painting will always remind me of the fun my family and I had in my last day in New York.” – Tricia Lord, 20

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