American (1859 – 1935)
Washington’s Birthday – Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street, 1916
Cortissoz & Clayton 68 i/ii. Etching on pale greenish laid ledger paper. One of ca. 10 proofs printed in the first state, before the shadows of the Metropolitan Tower were added to the Flatiron Building. Signed by the artist with his cypher and inscribed “imp” in pencil.
12 3/4 x 7 in.; 32.4 x 17.8 cm.
Hassam’s impressionistic rendering of the glimmering Flatiron Building recalls the atmospheric photograph of the Flatiron by Alfred Steiglitz. In 1916, the Washington’s Birthday festivities were focused on a build up of American military force in order to be ready for potential participation in WWI. A predecessor of Hassam’s Flag series of paintings, also created in 1916, the etching demonstrates the patriotic fervor of the times. This impression, in fine condition, is richly inked and printed on greenish ledger paper.