14th Street with Union Square and Washington Monument

Object Details


14th Street with Union Square and Washington Monument


Attributed to Silas A. Holmes (American, 1820 - 1886)




New York, New York, United States (Place depicted)


about 1855


Salted paper print


31.1 × 40.3 cm (12 1/4 × 15 7/8 in.)

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A group of schoolboys gathered around the then-new monument of George Washington in Union Square looks directly at Silas A. Holmes's camera. Though this image depicts children, the monument was more frequently a rendezvous point for unemployed actors in the 1850s and 1860s. In the 1870s the area became the heart of the commercial entertainment district and then was graced with a newly landscaped green park. Monument House in the background, a home newly converted into a hotel, demonstrates that the neighboring private houses in this formerly fashionable district were also giving way to commercial establishments.

Art and the Empire City : New York, 1825-1861 (September 11, 2000 to January 7, 2001)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), September 11, 2000 to January 7, 2001
The American Tradition and Walker Evans (July 10 to October 28, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 10 to October 28, 2001

Natural Magic: Salted Paper Prints in North America (Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara Museum of Art in association with the University of Washington Press, 2015), p. 68.