1904 Oil Sketch of Rockaway Beach Boardwalk


Dear Editor:

I have been researching the location of this 1904 Oil painting by a young George Bellows while he was an art student of Robert Henri teaching art classes in the city. The art students were ordered by Henri to go out and "Paint Life" Robert Henri had just finished his painting titled "At Far Rockaway" boardwalk scene in 1902 that would have been seen by his students. Please look that the square object on a post in front of the boardwalk in the painting. I found an antique photograph of the boardwalk and I circled the building. In the circled area slightly to the lower right, I noticed the square object on a post. It has a white hue in the black & white image. I was wondering if any living person would know what that object is.

Impressionist paintings will be, as the artist eye sees the scene but accurate enough to know the location. I am sure not a single building in the image still exists with the boardwalk built right at beach level in those days. The painting is an important historical moment in time. Paint smudges and fingerprints cover the back of the locally made F. W. Devoe Academy art board. He was holding it and painting with one hand at the location in real time. I hope some historian can answer the mystery.  Thank you for your time,

Steven Brennan


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