Credit Line: Transferred from the Applied Art Department, Iowa State University. In the permanent collection, Brunnier Art Museum, University Museusms, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Two elderly women are shown, one seated and one bending over a basket resting atop crates.
"The artist Jerome Myers observed that when immigrants 'merge here with New York, something happens that gives vibrancy.'1 The kaleidoscop of activity found in New York's immigrant neighborhoods reflected that vibrancy, captured by Myers in a low-keyed palette applied with quick, expressive brushwork and suffused with a golden haze. His many scenes of life in New York's Lower East Stide emphasize whatever fleeting moments of happiness the often-difficult lives of new arrivals allowed.
1 Quoted in Grant Holcomb, "The Forgetten Legacy of Jerome Myers (1867 - 1940): Painter of New York's Lower East Side," American Art Journal (May 1977): 90."
Born in Petersburg, Virginia and raised in Philadelphia, Trenton and Baltimore, Myers spent his adult life in New York City. He was an actor and scene painter, and studied art at Cooper Union and the Art Students League where his main teacher was George de Forest Brush. In 1896 and 1914, he was in Paris, but his main classroom was the streets of New York and the "raffish" side of society--immigrants in ghetto settings, market scenes, children playing, etc. Myers helped organize and exhibited in the Armory Show of 1913 where he won numerous prizes.