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Historic Paintings Return to Peekskill at Field Library! May 3, 2014 Reception to Welcome Permanent Collection

Arthur Frischke, "Lower Hudson Street" Oil on Canvas. ca 1930.
Arthur Frischke, "Lower Hudson Street" Oil on Canvas. ca 1930.

Return To Peekskill: 1930s Paintings by Arthur Frischke

May 3 – May 31, 2014

Opening Reception:  Saturday, May 3 from 3-6 pm

 The Field Gallery is honored to bring home the works of Arthur Frischke (1893-1970), a New York City artist whose informative paintings richly illustrate scenes of Peekskill life in the 1930s. Originally shown at The Field Library in 1982, these vibrant and important works are now on display once again.

   Known for  his 1930s realism and Ashcan School influence, Frischke’s  careful brushstrokes depict the River Town streets of Peekskill bustling  with proud townsfolk,  horse drawn carts  and early cars;  the mighty  Hudson River, with its heavy  commerce of steamboats,  often sets  the backdrop.  In other scenes, Uptown’s gracious houses and wide, open lanes are likewise carefully depicted.   Local landmarks such as Annsville Creek, Depew Homestead, Lower Main Street, Route 9, and the construction of the Bear Mountain Bridge are portrayed in their infancy.

 Arthur Frischke was born in New York City in 1853 and studied at Cooper Union and the National Academy of Design, and was also a member of the American Artists Professional League.  He left the Academy of Design at the age of 24 and in the ‘30s became enamored of Peekskill and the Hudson Highlands.  He soon became a familiar sight in the area, where he was seen riding about town on a motorcycle with his art supplies strapped across the back. 

 Frischke continued a successful career, exhibiting in New York City and the East Coast throughout his 70s where he maintained a studio in the Bronx. He died in 1970, leaving a rich legacy still highly sought after by collectors today.   

In 2013, Arthur Frischke’s paintings were rediscovered and shown at the Flat Iron Gallery in Peekskill, where they were purchased and donated to the Field Library via a generous gift by Peekskill native and philanthropist Dr.  Bernard S. Yudowitz.  Dr. Yudowitz is instrumental in restoring and preserving many of Peekskill’s treasures,  including B. James Thornley’s  historic 1934 WPA mural   “Technology Advancement.”

 The Field Gallery is located in the Field Library at 4 Nelson Avenue, Peekskill, New York. For further information please call  914-737-1212, email Alicia Morgan, Gallery Curator at amorgan@wlsmail.org, or visit the library's website at www.peekskill.org

donaldo April 23, 2014 at 08:59 PM
Thanks again, Dr. Yudowitz! That mural at the Old High School is one of the great memories of my youth and this scene down by the river is too, although a little before my time. Those kids riding on the cart looks to be an accurate depiction of what life was like for myself and the children in my neighborhood up on Phoenix Ave as well. All the little kids seemed to have a cart or wagon. We would pull what we had up to Saltzman's, then coast down the block and turn into someone's driveway before we crossed the highway. Hudson Avenue would have been too thrilling for me. I figure it makes sense that the artist shows the cart headed north, down the less steep incline.
Sage on the Hudson April 26, 2014 at 04:33 PM
"Arthur Frischke was born in New York City in 1853 and studied at Cooper Union and the National Academy of Design, and was also a member of the American Artists Professional League." As is stated earlier in the article, Frischke was born in 1893, not 1853.
Alicia Morgan April 26, 2014 at 09:32 PM
Hello Sage-- You're absolutely right. Arthur Frischke was born in 1893, as explained in the first paragraph. I apologise for the typo. To Donaldo: This exhibition holds a great many memories for so many people, myself included. My grandfather, Dr. Nicholas J. Colao, was born in the building on West Street , behind what is now the Standard House (on Hudson). It is a parking lot now and has a small strip of yellow bricks, a testament to Peekskill's once infamous industry. He told me stories of what it was like growing up then. Many of them included riding a sled all the way down Hudson, yelling, pulling the "brakes" by swerving. Others included the sights and smells of that area: the heavy fishing, the steamboats and commerce of the Hudson, the horse carts, etc. Whether you have a personal story like mine, grew up in the era, have a love of history, or are simply someone who wants to see what life was like in the house where you lived, Frischke's work is an important documentation of Peekskill's heritage and pride. I'm so thankful to Dr. Yudowitz for adding, once again, to Peekskill's rich history. Come down to the Field Library on May 3rd from 3-6.

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