Winter in Union Square, 1889-90. Childe Hassam. Oil on canvas. Gift of Ethelyn McKinney, in memory of her brother, Glenn Ford McKinney, 1943.
Arriving back in the United States in autumn 1889 after his studies in Paris, Hassam settled in New York instead of returning to Boston, his hometown. In this canvas, working more freely than ever before, he portrayed snow-covered Union Square from a high vantage point on Seventeenth Street, a block away from his studio. The painting minimizes the square’s importance as a center for entertainment and commerce. Veiled by snow are the bulky Morton House Hotel and domed Domestic Sewing Machine Company building on Fourteenth Street, which bracket the barely defined Gothic Revival spire of Grace Church, farther south at Broadway and Tenth Street.