East Side Entertainment (Primary Title)

Jerome Myers, American, 1867 - 1940 (Artist)

ca. 1920
oil on canvas
United States
Unframed: 24 1/4 × 30 1/8 × 1 1/2 in. (61.6 × 76.52 × 3.81 cm)
Framed: 33 7/64 × 39 1/8 × 3 1/4 in. (84.1 × 99.38 × 8.26 cm)
Not on view

Born in Petersburg, Virginia, Jerome Myers moved frequently throughout his childhood, settling permanently in New York at the age of nineteen. While working as a commercial artist, he attended classes at the Cooper Union and the Art Students League. He later came under the influence of Robert Henri, whose realist aesthetic inspired a number of young artists and illustrators. While Myers was not formally a member of Henri’s so-called Ashcan group, he gravitated to similar subject matter—namely, the urban spectacle.

East Side Entertainment, with its colorful players and “picturesque fringe” of an audience, is representative of Myers’s strongest work. One of the first New York realists to paint the Eastern European and Italian immigrant neighborhoods of the Lower East Side, he quickly made the subject his own, observing that whereas “others saw ugliness and degradation there . . . I saw poetry and beauty.”

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Barry Downes (grandson of the artist)
Jewish Museum, New York, The Lower East Side: Portal to American Life 1870 - 1924, September 21, 1966 - November 6, 1967
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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