Sunday, January 03, 2016

Childe Hassam "The Avenue in the Rain" 1917 and the West Wing

We have been binge watching "The West Wing" during this Christmas break.  I love the show, so wordy and fast-paced. I have no way of knowing if the show is an accurate depiction of the White House staff in action.  However, during a scene in the White House, I saw a familiar image in the background and looked it up.  Yes, this Childe Hassam painting, "The Avenue inthe Rain" 1917, is in the White House collection.  Turns out Childe Hassam painted at least 25 patriotic images with flags, many of 5th Avenue in New York.
During the latter part of his career, Childe Hassam lived in New York and had a studio near the 5th Avenue parade route.  In 1916 5th Avenue was the scene of a Preparedness Day parade, showing support for the US involvement in The Great War. The parade of 137,000 laborers, mothers, teachers, businessmen and doctors lasted over 13 hours. 
The flags were the inspiration for Hassam's patriotic series.


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