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Macy's Parade

Object Name: Cityscape
Date: 1937
Related People:
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Overall: 38 × 24 in. (96.5 × 61 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Christie McDonald and Joan McD Miller
Object Number: 2016.41.2
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Artist Dorothy Eisner painted "Macy’s Parade" from a high vantage point in a building facing Central Park, overlooking the procession below. The artist has captured a scene from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, then in its second decade of existence, with the barren November park and skyline of Fifth Avenue beyond. The image dates from 1937, a decade before the parade was popularized in the film, Miracle On 34th Street (1947).

Born in New York in 1906, Eisner was a painter and photographer, and worked in an amalgam of styles influenced by the artists and art movements of her time, including the work of European modernists such as Matisse, and the photographer Walker Evans, a close friend. Although she considered herself to be non-political, Eisner was avowedly left-wing in her sympathies, and even painted portraits of Leon Trotsky. The Suffragette movement particularly ignited her enthusiasm, and she remained committed to women’s causes throughout her life.