Abraham Leon Kroll
View of Manhattan from the Terminal Yards, Weehawken, New Jersey
North America, American, New York
36 in. x 48 in. (91.44 cm x 121.92 cm)
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase, Art Acquisitions Fund and Gifts of Mr. E. Baldwin Goetter in memory of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Goetter and his sister, Mrs. Mabel Goetter Godchaux; George H. Todd; Dr. Sonia Lupian; Mrs. James Norment Baker in memory of Dr. James Norment Baker; Gift in memory of Mrs. Onita Henderson, sponsored by Mrs. Nash Read; Mrs. J. S. Hough; Bessie D. McGavock; and Virginia Barnes, by exchange
Currently On View
"View of Manhattan from the Terminal Yards, Weehawken, New Jersey" was painted from the top of the Palisades at about Forty-ninth Street in Weehawken, overlooking the Hudson River. This is the terminal yard of the West Shore Railroad division of the New York Central Railroad, with its maze of tracks, trains, switching stations, and tiny figures at work. Beyond is the waterfront of the Hudson, small tugboats and ferryboats plying its surface, and in the background, the expansive skyline of midtown Manhattan rises from the distant shore. The artist differentiated the close foreground view of the embankment from the middle and background planes. The rocks are painted in cool, dark, rich colors, with large, broad strokes that create angular, solid shapes. The frieze of buildings in the background, by contrast, seems to sparkle in the light, enlivened by the small, short brushstrokes typical of Impressionism.
While many of his contemporaries depicted the urban landscape as a grim and dehumanizing environment, Kroll portrayed New York as a beautiful, soaring mass of architecture on the horizon, mysteriously veiled in the steam and haze created by the trains and the river. Painted predominantly in tones of orange, green, and cream, the railway yard appears to be a place of excitement and energy, with engines and people on the move. Such paintings spoke to the prosperity of America at the time, and the basic optimism that prevailed in light of burgeoning commercial and manufacturing economies.
American Paintings from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, cat. no. 67, p. 166.