New York in the Thirties

The Studio of Ben Solowey continued its 50th anniversary celebration with New York in the Thirties, an exhibition featuring Ben’s work from his years in Manhattan.

New York in the Thirties showcased Ben’s paintings and drawings from those halcyon days in New York. The city was a cultural crossroads in the 1930s, and New York's influence could be felt through the bold, imaginative work on view, which included still lifes, portraits, and landscapes. This work was first seen in international exhibitions alongside Picasso, Matisse, and other legendary artists of the period. Much of this work, including the portraits from the performing arts, had never been exhibited in Bucks County.

New York in the Thirties highlighted Ben's world renown charcoal portraits of performers of the stage, screen and opera house. They are a significant piece of American cultural history. Commissioned by The New York Times and Herald Tribune to capture performers of the day for their drama pages, Solowey insisted on working from life for his drawings while many of contemporaries relied on photographs for their sketches. To be drawn by Solowey was a sign that a performer had "arrived." His portraits were eagerly awaited each week by both performers and newspaper readers. Solowey portraits in this exhibition include Helen Hayes, Jimmy Durante, Marlene Dietrich, Claude Rains, Ethel Barrymore, George Balanchine, Clara Bow, Noel Coward, Fanny Brice, Paul Muni, Jessica Tandy and over 800 others.

Read the exhibition brochure on Ben’s Theater Portraits.

Go to complete list of Ben Solowey Portraits from the Performing Arts

Exhibition Object List

Sign up for the Solowey Letter
Just enter your email address

Studio of Ben Solowey Home Page

© 2002 The Ben Solowey Collection. All Rights Reserved.