International studio — 55.1915

Page: 247
DOI issue: DOI article: DOI Page: Citation link: 
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/international_studio55/0371
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An English Artist's Impressions of Nero York

AN ENGLISH ARTIST’S IMPRES-
ZX SIONS OF NEW YORK. BY
XJl WILLIAM MONK, R.E..
Great cities have always appealed to me, and
when I was offered a commission by a well-known
publisher to etch some plates of New York, it gave
me much pleasure to contemplate a new experience.
Believing that architects, painters, sculptors and
etchers ought to express their own times if their
work is to be of value, I looked forward to my
visit to a great modern American city and hoped
to find a comparatively unworked mine of new
subjects.
The first glimpse from the bows of the liner was
enough to convince me that I had not been
mistaken in my expectations. The wonderful mass
and outline, faint and dim in the morning light—
opal grey on the rim of the sea—is a sight that is
not easily forgotten, and makes one understand at
once the proud New Yorkers’ title “The Greatest

City on Earth.” If height means greatness, it is
decidedly the greatest. The enormous buildings,
soaring skywards, have a fascination by day and
night, and leave a quite unforgettable impression.
The American architect has great opportunities
and makes wise use of them. To begin with, he
works on a scale that is most impressive, even in
a warehouse. When these dignified masses of
apparently solid masonry are topped with a fine
arcade, balcony or bold cornice, sometimes gilt,
there is effective light, shade and colour. Silhouetted
or standing out clearly against the luminous skies,
there is something which cannot be found in any
other city building. For instance, the Metro-
politan Tower (white marble), the Bankers’ Trust
Building, the Liberty Tower, and the largest and
latest Woolworth Building, have a dignity and
decorative value equal to any of the old work ; and
they also have a character distinctively their own.
The Singer Tower is not, perhaps, all that it might
be in detail, but has a slender, graceful effect, and


WATER-COLOUR BY WILLIAM MONK, R.E.
247

“a night effect”
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