Skip navigation
Eagle Electric V

Object Name: Architecture
Date: 2000
Related People:
Medium: Oil on linen glued to panel
Dimensions: Unframed: 12 × 14 15/16 in. (30.5 × 37.9 cm) Framed: 14 3/8 × 17 1/2 in. (36.5 × 44.5 cm)
Credit Line: Purchase
Object Number: 2004.28.1
Send to a Friend
Marks: Stamp in ink on verso: address stamp with name and address of artist

Gallery Label:

Pamela Talese has been documenting with paint on canvas the many faceted changes to neighborhoods around Queens at least since the 1990s. Here, she depicts one of the Eagle Electric factory buildings in Long Island City, where she resided in 1993, and its neon billboard displaying the company motto, "Perfection is not an accident." The billboard and motto had become an icon, visible to drivers on the Queensboro Bridge, riders of the #7 subway train, and residents across the river.

Eagle Electric Manufacturing Company was founded in 1920 as a maker of electrical devices, switches and circuit units. The company occupied a variety of buildings in Long Island City from 1941 until the turn of the century, when the company was purchased by Cooper Industries to form Cooper Wiring Devices, Inc. Once the new owner moved its production facilities outside of New York, the largest factory building was converted into residential lofts, epitomizing the neighborhood's slow transformation from industrial to residential. The sign ceased to be illuminated at about that time and soon thereafter was removed from the building.