Inwood on Canvas: Two Centuries of Art

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For more than a century artists have visited Manhattan’s northern end to sketch, paint and photograph. Today artistic interpretations of Inwood Hill Park, the Spuyten Duyvil, the Harlem River, and the ever-popular Dyckman Farmhouse, grace the walls of museums throughout the world. Remarkably, in an ever-changing Manhattan, many of these spectacular views can still be seen today by those visiting the Inwood region.

Spuyten Duyvil Creek, Valentine's Manual, 1866.
Spuyten Duyvil Creek, Valentine’s Manual, 1866.
Dykeman's Farm, Valentine's Manual, 1866.
Dykeman’s Farm, Valentine’s Manual, 1866.
Spuyten Duyvil Creek, King's Bridge, Harper's Weekly, 1873.
Spuyten Duyvil Creek, King’s Bridge, Harper’s Weekly, 1873.
Arnule Bandel sketch, Circa 1835, Collection of the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum.
Arnule Bandel sketch, Circa 1835, Collection of the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum. (This is the earliest known sketch of the Dyckman Farmhouse)
Spuyten Duyvil, 1840's, Lossing.
Spuyten Duyvil, 1840’s, Lossing.
Spyt Den Duyvel Creek, Benson Lossing.
Spyt Den Duyvel Creek, Benson Lossing.
Spiten Devil's Creek, Jacques Milbert, 1825.
Spiten Devil’s Creek, Jacques Milbert, 1825.
Harper's Weekly Illustration by Al. Hencke, 1895 The New Ship Canal at Kingsbridge Connecting the Harlem and Hudson.
Harper’s Weekly Illustration by Al. Hencke, 1895 The New Ship Canal at Kingsbridge Connecting the Harlem and Hudson.
Dyckman House, James Preston Moore, 1915.
Dyckman House, James Preston Moore, 1915.

High Bridge bookplate, Artist Joseph Pennell, 1909.
High Bridge bookplate, Artist Joseph Pennell, 1909.
Alfred Wordsworth Thompson, Halt at the Outpost, 1881.
Alfred Wordsworth Thompson, Halt at the Outpost, 1881. (The building on the right is thought to have been inspired by the Dyckman Farmhouse.)
John Ward Dunsmore (1856 – 1945) Hut Camp of the 17th Regiment on Inwood Hill, NYC.
John Ward Dunsmore (1856 – 1945) Hut Camp of the 17th Regiment on Inwood Hill, NYC. (A restored Hessian Hut can today be visited on the grounds of the Dyckman Farmhouse)
Residence of Isaac M. Dyckman, artist unknown, 1884.
Residence of Isaac M. Dyckman, artist unknown, 1884. (This later Dyckman residence once sat on the land today occupied by Columbia University’s Christie Field House on West 218th Street)
William H. Hurst House, artist unknown, 1920's.
William H. Hurst House, artist unknown, 1920’s. (This once magnificent home survives, bricked up and neglected, on the corner of West 215th Street and Park Terrace East)
Dyckman House, Norman Rockwell.
Dyckman House, Norman Rockwell, 1912. (This view of the Dyckman Farmhouse kitchen remains nearly the same more than a century later)
Summer Afternoon, circa 1908, Ernest Lawson.
Summer Afternoon, circa 1908, Ernest Lawson. (The spot where this famed Inwood Tulip Tree once stood is now marked by a plaque on the Shorakkopoch Rock in Inwood Hill Park)
The Hudson At Inwood. Ernest Lawson (1873-1939). Oil On Canvas Laid Down On Panel.
The Hudson At Inwood. Ernest Lawson (1873-1939). Oil On Canvas Laid Down On Panel. (Depiction of Tubby Hook where Dyckman Street meets the Hudson River. The old Magdalene asylum sits above the road)
Dyckman House, Ernest Lawson, 1913.
Dyckman House, Ernest Lawson, 1913.
Boathouse in Winter on Harlem River,  1918 , Ernest Lawson.
Boathouse in Winter on Harlem River, 1918 , Ernest Lawson. (View is east across the Harlem River. The Hall of Fame for Great Americans sits on the hill in the background)
Ernest Lawson, The Old Tulip Tree.
Ernest Lawson, The Old Tulip Tree.
University Heights, New York, circa 1905,  Ernest Lawson.
University Heights, New York, circa 1905, Ernest Lawson.
Spuyten Duyvil Creek, Ernest Lawson, 1914.
Spuyten Duyvil Creek, Ernest Lawson, 1914. (Depiction of the old Johnson Ironworks that once occupied the peninsula in Spuyten Duyvil Creek)
Shadows, Spuyten Duyvil Hill, Ernest Lawson, 1910.
Shadows, Spuyten Duyvil Hill, Ernest Lawson, 1910. (Another view of the Johnson Ironworks)
Boathouse, Winter, Harlem River,  Ernest Lawson, 1916.
Boathouse, Winter, Harlem River, Ernest Lawson, 1916.
Ernest Lawson,  "Graveyard," circa 1912. (Barnes Collection, Philadelphia) (This ancient Inwood graveyard was once located east of Brodway near 212th Street)
Ernest Lawson, “Graveyard,” circa 1912. (Barnes Collection, Philadelphia) (This ancient Inwood graveyard was once located east of Broadway near 212th Street)
Robert L. Dickinson, Indian Caves on Manhattan, 1923.
Robert L. Dickinson, Indian Caves on Manhattan, 1923. (These caves still draw visitors in Inwood Hill Park)
Charlotte Livingston, 1932
Charlotte Livingston, 1932.  (Scene shows a peaceful marina in Inwood Hill Park with the Inwood Pottery Works to the right. The marina was covered with landfill in the late 1930’s to create the Gaelic field)
Columbia Boathouse, Vernon Howe Bailey, 1935.
Columbia Boathouse, Vernon Howe Bailey, 1935.
Aaron Douglas, Inwood Power Plant, 1936.
Aaron Douglas, Inwood Power Plant, 1936. (Shows the old coal-fired Co-Ed plant on Sherman Creek)
Spuyten Duyvil Bridge, HA Weiss, 1936.
Spuyten Duyvil Bridge, HA Weiss, 1936.
Vera Abdrus watercolor, Harlem River Bridge Construction at Spuyten Duyvil, 1936.
Vera Abdrus watercolor, Harlem River Bridge Construction at Spuyten Duyvil, 1936.
Harold Faye, Railroad Station, 1938.
Harold Faye, Railroad Station, 1938.
 Jack Lorimer Gray, Spuyten Duyvil, 1940.
Jack Lorimer Gray, Spuyten Duyvil, 1940.
Ludwig Bemelmans, Dyckman Street Ferry, 1959.
Ludwig Bemelmans, Dyckman Street Ferry, 1959.
Wladyslaw Brzosko, Sherman Creek Generating Station (Con. Edison) on Harlem River, New York, 1963
Wladyslaw Brzosko, Sherman Creek Generating Station (Con. Edison) on Harlem River, New York, 1963
Photo by William Davis Hassler, circa 1912-1914, NYHS. (Isham home in background)
Photo by William Davis Hassler, circa 1912-1914, NYHS. (Isham home in background)
Turn of the century photograph by Robert Veitch, courtesy Jason Covert. (Veitch ran a general store on Dyckman Street East of Broadway.  View shows the then undeveloped confluence of Dyckman, Riverside and Broadway)
Turn of the century photograph by Robert Veitch, courtesy Jason Covert. (Veitch ran a general store on Dyckman Street East of Broadway. View shows the then undeveloped confluence of Dyckman, Riverside and Broadway)

3 COMMENTS

  1. This is wonderful. I had a friend from school in 1948 who lived in one of the boathouses on the Harlem River. How this 10 year old loved going there. How cool was it to live like that?

  2. Great collection, thanks for showing these works at your site.
    In addition to this collection, there are paintings done by British artists during the War of Independence that feature British naval action on the Hudson and the Battle of Fort Washington (which included forts Tryon, George and Cock Hill).

    I first ran across Lawson’s “The Hudson at Inwood” at the Columbus (Ohio) Museum of Art, and it almost floored me to discover a painting there of the neighborhood where I grew up. The Columbus museum also houses “Inwood Heights”, where the perspective appears to looking towards the Hudson from the top of Ft. George Hill.

    Lawson’s “The Old Tulip Tree” was formerly, and mistakenly, titled “The Old Tulip Tree, Long Island,” until Tom Cahill and I used other paintings of the same area by Lawson and a photo by Robert Bracklow to convince the curator at the Hunter Museum of American Art that the tree was in Inwood, not Long Island. She agreed to remove Long Island from the title.

  3. So glad you posted the two paintings of the old Con-Ed power plant by Sherman Creek, which I’d never seen before. They are awesome!

    I remember, as a kid, watching the derricks hoist loads of coal from the barges to the top of the tower.

    As I recall, one of the main reasons the channel of Spuyten Duyvil Creek was straightened and deepened was to allow barge traffic coming down the Hudson from the Erie Canal to get directly to the Harlem River without first having to go around the southern end of Manhattan and then head north along east side of the island.

    Thanks again for posting this wonderful collection of Inwood paintings.

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