(reverse label - Oil Sketch of N. Y. Skyline from Central Park by Elizabeth Searcy
1934 Vinton Ave. Memphis Tenn. -click on image to enlarge)
(reverse label- Sketch of Central Park "Blue Silhouettes"
click on image to enlarge)
A view of Central Park from Google Earth with modern buildings hidden.
This image shows the likely position at which Searcy set her easel on the
Central Park Mall.
The painting depicts Central Park South with prominent
buildings being the Sherry-Netherland Hotel (left), the Plaza Hotel
(middle left), the Empire State Building (middle background
right), and the twin spires of Hampshire House (right). The Plaza Hotel was placed at the center of Searcy's
composition, the pin of its lines of perspective.
The Hampshire House in the background lead
us to date the work post 1931, the beginning of the building's
construction. The absent (or partially completed?) RCA building at Rock Center
which should be immediately in front of the Empire State Building (middle
right) may give a pre 1939 date for the painting. Further archival work or the identification of a
companion etching may lead to more accurate dating.
My Day Home Column
JANUARY 10, 1940
written by Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
WASHINGTON, DC—Yesterday afternoon I spent a delightful hour with MissElizabeth Searcy in her studio on Dupont Circle. She has painted a
great deal in Newport, Rhode Island, New York City and the South. It is evident in looking at her work that she has a great feeling for her
home city, Memphis, Tennessee. There are five interiors of rooms which she painted at the Roosevelt House in New York City some years ago,
and which seemed to me to belong together in some museum. They are beautifully executed and correct in detail and should, of course, be
kept together, preferably where people who are not apt to visit and yet want to know the looks of the house where Theodore Roosevelt was
born and spent the early years of his life.
Some of Miss Searcy's etchings are exquisite, but her water colors of
gardens were to me the loveliest of all. I hope that she will have an opportunity while here to paint some of the beautiful gardens in and
around this city.
1940 "My Day" Newspaper Columns by Eleanor Roosevelt, The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, The George Washington University