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Previous Spotlight

Homage to Seurat

In September 2007, Rescue Public Murals assessed Homage to Seurat: La Grande Jatte in Harlem (1986, Eva Cockcroft, 115 Hamilton Place, New York, New York). This is the only remaining New York City mural by the late Eva Crockcroft, an artist, art historian, and author instrumental in the national community murals movement. The assessment was conducted by conservator Harriet Irgang of Rustin Levenson Art Conservation Associates, New York, and muralist Janet Braun-Reinitz of Artmakers, the New York based, artist-run community mural organization of which Cockcroft served as the first president.

At left, the right wall of the mural, 1986, photo by Eva Cockcroft. At right, the right wall of the mural, 2007, photo by Tomie Arai.

By using a conservator and a muralist for assessments, Rescue Public Murals brings the best technical and artistic knowledge together to document the mural’s condition and determine the most appropriate way to preserve it. The Homage to Seurat assessment also benefited from the attendance of several community residents.

Harriet Irgang and community residents
look for the artist's signature on the mural,
2007, photo by Kristen Laise.

Homage to Seurat interprets Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte—1884 pointillist style and images. Rather than using small points of color, Cockcroft painted the larger textured surface of the wall to create shapes. Some of the paint has chipped away or radically faded, giving the mural the appearance of being painted in the pastel colors of the Impressionists. In actuality, the mural was painted using bold jewel tones reminiscent of the Caribbean and the American South, where many West Harlem community members were born. Figures in the painting are depicted as people of color, which also makes the mural representative of its diverse community.

See more images and read more about Homage to Seurat....