Julian Alden Weir
On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Visions and Myths of a Nation, 1800–1890
The Conservator's Eye
Set in Manhattan’s Union Square, this scene captures the urban street types and bohemian artists who populated the neighborhood.
Julian Alden Weir cut apart a larger composition titled In the Park sometime after it received harsh criticism at the 1879 Society of American Artists exhibition. One of three fragments, Union Square was cut in the shape of an oval and expanded into a rectangle through the addition of four spandrels, the triangular additions at the corners. Weir extended the composition onto the additions, filling in the sky and the bottom of the central figure’s fur muff. There is a tonal difference between the two generations of paint. This is because Weir matched the newer colors to a dirty varnish layer on the oval, which has since been cleaned away.
Oil on canvas
29 7/8 x 24 15/16 in. (75.9 x 63.4 cm)
frame: 41 3/4 x 36 3/4 x 5 3/4 in. (106 x 93.3 x 14.6 cm) (show scale)
Signed lower right: "J Alden Weir"
Museum Collection Fund
Julian Alden Weir (American, 1852-1919). Union Square, ca. 1879. Oil on canvas, 29 7/8 x 24 15/16 in. (75.9 x 63.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund, 26.410 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 26.410_SL1.jpg)
overall, 26.410_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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