Landscape featuring a view of the Arthur Kill between Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and Tottenville, a neighborhood on the south shore of Staten Island, New York. Bluemner recorded the conception of the painting in his painting diary in 1911. Initially titled just Perth Amboy West, it captured the scene at “7:30 A.M.” on a “brilliant morning.” Sketches suggest it was originally a straightforward, naturalistic landscape. Bluemner returned to the composition in 1916 to “restudy” it, producing several sketches and a “color key” as he worked through adding the fractured planes that animate the landscape, lending a cubistic sensibility to it.
In the 1680s, the Lenape started ferry service between Perth Amboy and Tottenville. Perth Amboy was an important stop on the way from New York to Philadelphia during the colonial era, and ferry service continued until 1963.
Henry Heiman II;
[Bernard Danenberg Galleries, New York];
Dr. Max Ellenberg, New York;
Bequest to his wife, Mrs. Mary Ellenberg, Florida;
[Barbara Mathes Gallery, New York];
Carolyn and Roger Horchow Collection, Texas, 1994-2014;
[Menconi & Schoelkopf, New York];
Berlin. Galerie Fritz Gurlitt. O. Bluemner: New York. May 1912, cat. 8.
New York. Bourgeois Galleries. Exhibition of Modern Art. November 11-December 7, 1918, cat. no. 9.
Probably: Minneapolis. The University Gallery, University of Minnesota. Oscar Bluemner. March 1939, cat no. 36.
New York. New York Cultural Center. Oscar Bluemner: Paintings, Drawings. December 16, 1969-March 8, 1970, cat. no, 17.
New York. Bernard Danenberg Galleries. Oscar Bluemner: Paintings, Watercolors and Drawings. February 8-26, 1972, cat. no. 12, ill. front and back covers.
New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. Oscar Bluemner: A Passion for Color. October 7, 2005-February 12, 2006, pp. 66, 226, ill. p. 73, fig. 60.
Tulsa. Philbrook Museum of Art. Oscar Bluemner: Forces of Nature and Industry. March 19-November 6, 2016.
Tulsa. Philbrook Museum of Art. Extended loan through May 2017.
Corpus Christi. The Art Museum of South Texas. Masterpieces of American Modernism from the Vilcek Collection of American Art. September 13, 2018-January 6, 2019.
Oscar Bluemner Papers, Painting & Theory Diaries: Painting Diary, June 12, 1911-January 30, 1912. Box 1, Folder 31, Frames 11-18, 207. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Oscar Bluemner Papers, Painting & Theory Diaries: Painting Diary, 1916-1918. Box 1, Folder 35, Frames 106-111. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Oscar Bluemner Papers, Painting & Theory Diaries: Painting Diary, 1916-1918. Box 1, Folder 35, Frames 253-255. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Q.R. “American Painting,” The Christian Science Monitor, May 19, 1919.
Hayes, Jeffrey R. “Oscar Bluemner: Life, Art and Theory,” (PhD dissertation, University of Maryland, 1982), pp. 231-36, figs. 57-61.
Hayes, Jeffrey R. Oscar Bluemner. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991, pp. 80-82, ill. p. 82, fig. 49.
Private Collection. Christie’s. Important American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture. May 16, 2012, p. 21, lot 11, ill. detail as frontispiece and p. 22, foldout.
Curator Emily Schuchardt Navratil explores Oscar Bluemner’s precisionist landscape painting, 'Perth Amboy West (Tottenville),' through an examination of sketchbooks and notes that provide insight into this vibrant and innovative work of American Modernist art.