A disciple of American realism, Thain’s work carried on the tradition of the Ashcan School with its subjects from everyday city life, while anticipating the urban manifestation of the American Scene movement of the 1930s. His paintings often convey the stillness, anonymity, and architectonic solidity of Edward Hopper’s urban views of the period. However, Thain ranged over a greater variety of moods and subjects. He recorded the city’s gleaming architecture, its transportation hubs, its gathering places, and their inhabitants.
When war broke out in 1939, New York was a cosmopolitan, heavily immigrant city, whose people had real stakes in the global conflict and strongly held opinions about whether or not to intervene. The attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 brought the U.S. into the war, and New York became the principal port of embarkation for the warfront.
An exhibition of 83 photographs documenting some of the most significant buildings and public parks in New York City will be on view at The New-York Historical Society from April 30 through July 12, 2009, in the exhibition Landmarks of New York. The exhibition has traveled to 82 countries under the sponsorship of the United States Department of State since 2006 and is now coming home to New York for its final showing.
Spanning nearly four decades of physical and social transformation in a neighborhood that is fabled around the world, the exhibition Harlem 1970–2009: Photographs by Camilo José Vergara will be on view at the New-York Historical Society from April 30 through July 12, 2009.