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20th Century American Art

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West Street

20th Century

Alfred Butts
American (1899 - 1993)

Object Type: Print
Medium and Support: Linocut
Credit Line: Bequest of Edith Holden Babcock
Accession Number: 1947.71
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Location: Not currently on view

Like Rochesterian Walter Cassebeer, Alfred Butts was also an architect in New York City. He lost his job in 1929, and it may have been during the early 1930s that he created prints like this one of West Street in Lower Manhattan to generate some income. In addition to using his artistic skills to solve his financial problems, he turned his attention to the creation of a game that would capitalize on his love of crossword puzzles – and that game became Scrabble®.

West Street, the subject of this print, did not have as successful an outcome. A portion of it is within the security perimeter of the of the World Trade Center site, and a number of the landmark buildings on West Street sustained significant damage. There has been a movement to rename the street “Highway of Heroes” to commemorate efforts of the many valiant people who responded during the 9/11 disaster.

[Label text, 2003]

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