Stefan Hirsch (1899-1964)
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller
Stefan Hirsch (1899-1964)

Midtown Range

Stefan Hirsch (1899-1964)
Midtown Range
oil on canvas laid down on board
26 ¾ x 36 in. (68 x 91.4 cm.)
Painted in 1931.
The artist.
[With]The Downtown Gallery, New York.
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, New York, commissioned from the above, 1931.
Jean Mauzé, 1941.
Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1962.
Estate of the above, 1979.
Acquired by the late owners from the above, 1980.
J. Perrone, "Stefan Hirsch," Artforum, January 1980.
J. Barnitz, et al., The David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection: Art of the Western Hemisphere, vol. II, New York, 1988, pp. 117-18, no. 56, illustrated.
D. Rockefeller, Memoirs, New York, 2003, p. 51.
New York, The Downtown Gallery, Stefan Hirsch, November 18-December 9, 1932, no. 15.
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Twentieth Century New York in Paintings and Prints, November 9-30, 1933.
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, Bard College, Stefan Hirsch, 1899-1964: Retrospective Exhibition, September 9-27, 1971.
Washington, D.C., The Phillips Collection, Stefan Hirsch, November 5-December 4, 1977.
Special notice

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Sale room notice
Please note this work is not signed and dated at lower left as previously noted.

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Lot Essay

David Rockefeller wrote of the history of the present work, "Before Rockefeller Center was built and while there were still a large number of brownstones on the blocks now occupied by the center, Mother commissioned [Stefan] Hirsch to do a painting from the fifth-floor window of our home on West 54th Street. The room in which he worked was my bedroom." (as quoted in J. Barnitz, et al., The David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection: Art of the Western Hemisphere, vol. II, New York, 1988, p. 117) Indeed, the present work depicts the skyscrapers of New York City as seen from John D. Rockefeller, Jr.'s nine-story home at 10 West 54th Street, the current site of The Museum of Modern Art sculpture garden, and a view which Abby Aldrich Rockefeller lamented losing during the construction boom of the 1930s. Here Hirsch captures for his patron the icons of the cityscape, including the Chrysler Building and Saint Patrick's Cathedral at left and the Empire State Building at right. With his modernist execution of these towers under a swirling, stormy sky, Hirsch goes beyond mere documentation to create a dramatic evocation of the city during this time of rapid industrial and architectural development.

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