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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
Type:Painting
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)
2013-16.jpg

Description:
Three women walk along a rainy, grey sidewalk and battle with the wind for their umbrellas. They are wearing vibrant colored clothing and have rosy cheeks. The one on the farthest left is wearing a coral jacket and her umbrella covers her head as she hurries along. The middle woman is jovial and smiling and wears a red beret and red jacket, her green umbrella with red lining being pulled back from the wind. The woman on the right tries to keep her navy and peach umbella open, her coat being swept open by the wind to reveal a bright red skirt. The wavy lines of the women's poses and the curvy pathway in the backgorund give the viewer the impression of wind--the only straight lines are the skyscrapers and road in front of which this scene takes place.

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

Tags:
cities; exterior; weather; wind; urban; umbrellas; automobiles; streets; architecture; women; fashion

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=AC+2013.16

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

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