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Eiffel Tower #1

43 1/2 x 35 1/2 in. (110.5 x 90.2 cm)

William Congdon
United States (Providence, RI, 1912 - 1998)

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Oil and mixed media on composition board
Credit Line: Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Accession Number: 1957.3
Link to this object
Location: Not currently on view

Once a prominent member of the New York School, William Congdon’s name has drifted into obscurity. His youthful wanderlust led him to Italy, France, Mexico, Turkey, Cambodia, and Africa on painting expeditions. Eiffel Tower #1 shows his characteristic use of a jack knife or the edge of a spatula to incise energetic lines into his paint, here suggesting the lacy ironwork of the French icon. In 1959, after years of emotional and creative turmoil, he retreated from public view and spent the last decades of his life as artist-in-residence at a Benedictine monastery near Milan. Shortly after his death, the New York Times wrote that “Most museums store their Congdons with countless other works deemed too marginal to show and too meaningful to sell.”

[Label text from It Came From the Vault exhibition, 2013]

Artist's signature, verso: W C Tour Eiffel #1

Betty Parsons Gallery; purchased from them by the Gallery in 1957

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It Came from the Vault exhibition catalogue Entry for this artwork in the It Came from the Vault exhibition catalogue. The exhibition ran from March 17-June 9, 2013

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