Jerome Myers, Lower East Side, 1930, Oil on Canvas
16 H. x 20 W. inches, signed and dated lower right
Jerome Meyers said in 1923 “All my life I had lived, worked and played in the poorest streets of American cities. I knew them and their population and was one of them. Others saw ugliness and degradation there, I saw poetry and beauty, so I came back to them. I took a sporting chance of saying something out of my own experience and risking whether it was worthwhile or not. That is all any artist can do.”  
This was the artist's inspiration for his paintings of the inhabitants of the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the early part of the twentieth century. As he painted his surroundings and what he saw as beautiful, he rose to prominence showing at the noted Macbeth Gallery in New York and placing works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1912 and 1913. In 1941, the Whitney Museum of American Art held the Jerome Myers Memorial Exhibition, featuring over 90 of his paintings, drawings and etchings, lent by museums and private collections throughout the United States.

Abastenia St. Leger Eberle, Little Mother, 1907, Bronze, 12 7/8 H. x 4 ¼ W. x 4 3/8 D. inches
Signed: ASt.L. Eberle. 1911, Stamped: S. KLABER & CO. / FOUNDERS, N.Y.
Little Mother epitomizes the empathy Eberle felt toward the immigrants of the Lower East Side, Washington Square and the West Village of New York, who so inspired her work. What George Luks and Robert Henri immortalized in their portraits of the underclass, Eberle paralleled in her sculptures. Like these painters, the message that Eberle puts forward in her depiction of the Little Mother is a feeling of optimism that was shared by the Irish, Italian and Jewish immigrants who were carving out their futures with hard work and determination.

The older sister is not downtrodden and evokes an admirable respect for the responsibility a sibling might have shouldered within these family units. It is a model that demonstrates Eberle’s core interest to artistically document an unheralded part of society and culture that she experienced on a day-to-day basis outside her studio. As a result a number of her subjects came from viewing the people who lived there, especially the children. She found that the children of the Lower East Side played without restraint and expressed their emotions without any inhibition. The Little Mother was conceived in 1907, the year in which Eberle moved her studio to West 9th Street near Washington Square. Eberle began an association with the Macbeth Gallery in New York and in 1909 the Metropolitan Museum of Art purchased Roller Skater.

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