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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst


Maker(s):Berman, Sarah
Culture:American, born in Ukraine (1895-1957)
Title:Untitled (rainy street scene, New York City)
Date Made:1940
Materials:oil on board
Measurements:Frame: 30 3/4 in x 22 13/16 in x 1 in; 78.1 cm x 57.9 cm x 2.5 cm; Panel: 28 in x 20 1/8 in; 71.1 cm x 51.1 cm
Accession Number:  AC 2013.16
Credit Line:Gift of Steven M. Jacobson (Class of 1953)

Label Text:
Sarah Berman, née Ostrowsky, immigrated to the United States as a child with her family. Most likely she was part of the large wave of emigration from the Russian Empire at the turn of the century, an exodus that resulted from job and settling restrictions for Jews. While Sarah earned her living in sweatshops in New York City, she taught herself to paint. She painted realistic impressions inspired by her experiences on New York’s Lower East Side with “a directness that is distinctive,” one reviewer remarked.

Berman depicts the uninviting reality of a rainy day with sympathy and a hint of humor. The scene features well-placed bright colors, which form a lively and balanced composition. A year after she created Untitled (Rainy street scene, New York City), a critic for the New York Times described her as “one of the most interesting painters the Artists’ Gallery has yet shown.“

BJ, 2014

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