The present work is a rare example from Reginald Marsh's early 1920s series of construction scenes, which capture Manhattan during a period of growth and prosperity.
The original owner of the present work, Jacob Burck, was a fellow artist who studied alongside Marsh at the Art Students League. Marsh and Burck also both worked as cartoonists for The New Masses. While Marsh was almost a decade older than Burck, the two formed a lasting friendship and also exhibited together, for example in a two-man show of drawings at the John Reed Club in 1932. Burck went on to a long career as an artist and Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist.