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Bertram Goodman’s Views of the Village

We love historic photos of our neighborhoods, many of which appear in our vast historic image archive. A subset of that archive includes artists’ renderings and interpretations. One Village artist whose work we’ve often admired, Bertram Goodman, created a number of works showing Greenwich Village in the mid-20th century with a particularly special quality.

72 Charles Street from Goodman’s apartment window, 1940. MCNY
Similar view of 72 Charles Street today.
55 Charles Street

Bertram Goodman (1904-1988) was an American artist born in New York. He studied at the School of American Sculpture in the early 1920s and at the Art Students League. He was a member of the Federal Art Project, part of the New Deal program during the Depression to employ artists, and completed several murals while living at 55 Charles Street.

Bertram Goodman c. 1939 working on a mural for the Federal Art Project, “The Development of Printing” at Theodore Roosevelt High School in the Bronx.

Here are some of his other works showing Greenwich Village in the mid-20th century — some literal, some interpretive:

Greenwich Village, 1946
135 Charles Street, c. 1935. MCNY

Now a condominium, 135 Charles street used to be the 9th Police Precinct Station House and was built in 1896-97. Designed by John duFais, it’s part of the Greenwich Village Historic District Extension which Village Preservation got designated in 2006. It was the first New York City police station house built during the tenure of Theodore Roosevelt as NYC police commissioner.

House on Charles Street, c. 1940. MCNY
1952

The above image was featured in Improvisations, published by the Artists Equity Association for the Spring Fantasia Masquerade Ball in 1952. Original lithograph advertisements were created by artists of businesses that supported the Artists Equity. Founded in 1947, Goodman was the association’s Director from 1955 to 1956.

Gay Street, 1958. MCNY
Bleecker Street between Seven Avenue South and Sixth Avenue, 1935. MCNY

To view more of Goodman’s works depicting mid-century New York City, visit the digital archives of the Museum of the City of New York.

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