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Saturday Night in August -- Eighth Avenue

William Anderson Coffin

American Art

In this nighttime street scene, William Coffin depicted throngs of pleasure seekers strolling past shop fronts along a stretch of Eighth Avenue in New York. Known for attracting diverse classes and ethnic groups, this area was decidedly less fashionable than the nearby Broadway theater district. The two most striking features of the painting—its monochromatic palette of gray tones and its reportorial realism (note such gritty details as litter in the street)—suggest that it was intended for reproduction as a black-and-white illustration in a newspaper or magazine.

MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES ca. 1900
DIMENSIONS 16 1/8 × 26 in. (41 × 66 cm) frame: 22 1/8 × 31 7/8 × 3 1/4 in. (56.2 × 81 × 8.3 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed lower right: "Wm A Coffin"
INSCRIPTIONS Inscribed verso: "Saturday Night in August--Eighth Avenue Wm A Coffin"
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Feld
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION William Anderson Coffin (American, 1855–1925). Saturday Night in August -- Eighth Avenue, ca. 1900. Oil on canvas, 16 1/8 × 26 in. (41 × 66 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Feld, 74.207 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 74.207_PS20.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 74.207_PS20.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2024
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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