Children in Mulberry Street


Jerome Myers (1867-1940), Children in Mulberry Street, c. 1910, soft ground etching and plate tone, signed in pencil lower right. In good condition (apart from weakening at platemark left), with full margins, on a cream laid paper, 8 1/8 x 10 1/2, the sheet 12 x 18 7/8 inches, archival mounting.

A fine fresh impression of this great rarity.

This is a sketch pad, using the print medium (a la Rembrandt). The figure at the upper left is apparently a drawing, or at least the same figure, as Myers used in another etching called Conversation, two women on a bench talking. The other figures are sketches as well – a girl at the upper right reading, children sleeping on the sidewalk. We have not encountered another impression of these sketches, and they were certainly not issued in any edition or great number.

Provenance: Kennedy Galleries, Inc. (still in their mat with their label)

Myers was an actor and artist, a specialist in the American turn of the century immigrant experience, particularly those immigrants in the Lower East Side of Manhattan; and those immigrants are the subject matter of this work.  Active in the art life of the times, he was a prime mover behind the Armory Show of 1913, working with Walt Kuhn to get the (then) highly esteemed Arthur B. Davies to help arrange the show.  Myer’s paintings are an important part of America’s aesthetic and historical heritage; they can be found, for example, in the National Gallery in Washington alongside those of Bellows and the members of the Ashcan school.  Although his paintings show that he was a talented colorist, his etchings prove that he was (unlike several of his colleagues) also a master draughtsman, able to capture the spirit and atmosphere of the times with an impressionistic approach to printmaking.  Children in Mulberry Street demonstrates this.