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“Skating in Central Park” by Agnes Tait

Agnes Tait, Skating in Central Park, 1934, Smithsonian American Art Museum

“Skating in Central Park” by Agnes Tait is a large, festive scene of winter revellers in Central Park, New York City. It depicts skaters and sledders on the frozen lake and on the snowy slopes of the park. It is late afternoon, the sun is setting behind the Manhattan skyline, and the contrast between the snow and the dark branches of the bare trees is delightful.

Agnes Tait was painter, artist, lithographer, book illustrator and muralist. She began work on “Skating in Central Park”, under the employment from the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP). This program employed artists, as part of the New Deal, during the Great Depression. The purpose of the program was:

“to give work to artists”.

The program employed 3,749 artists and 15,663 works were produced. The subject matter had to be related to the “American scene”. Artworks from the project were shown in many government facilities, including the White House and House of Representatives.

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Essential Facts:

  • Title:                 Skating in Central Park
  • Artist:               Agnes Tait
  • Year:                 1934
  • Medium:          Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions     33 3/4 x 48 in. (85.8 x 121.8 cm)
  • Museum:          Smithsonian American Art Museum

Artist Essential Facts:

  • Name:                    Agnes Tait
  • Born:                     1894 – New York City
  • Died:                      1981 (aged 87) – Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Nationality:          American
  • Notable works:

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“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.” Claude Monet

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Photo Credit: 1) By Wikipedia Loves Art participant “trish” [CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons