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Amsterdam Ave, North from Beacon

Richard Dey de Ribcowsky (1880-1936)


Signed and inscribed with title

Oil on canvas

31 ½ x 23 ½ inches

'Chris Beetles Summer Show', Chris Beetles Gallery, 2019, No 76

This view north along Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West Side in New York was likely to have been painted shortly after the opening of the Beacon Hotel, which still sits today on the corner of Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. The hotel was named after the airway beacon that sat atop a steel tower on the hotel’s roof, the largest candle-powered light in the world at the time of its opening in July 1928. Used to help aeroplane pilots navigate along a specified airway corridor, approximately 1,500 beacons were constructed between 1923 and 1933 to guide pilots from city to city across America. However, from 1929, the visual system of beacons began to be replaced by low frequency radio navigation.

Beetles Choice - 17 October 2019

I first saw this striking image of snowy New York in a Lexington Avenue gallery 30 years ago and liked it so much I persuaded a good friend to buy it for his house in Jersey. I have tracked it ever since and now will own it briefly. We research and write original biographies on all artists who are new to us, and this has revealed that Ribcowsky who had a stellar career in the United States while staying at the Beacon Hotel on the corner of Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.