Above: A rustic shelter, now destroyed, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (available).
Left: The Indian Hunter, an elevation of one of the most famous bronze sculptures lining the Mall. (available).
Right: This elevation of the Obelisk, or Cleopatra's Needle, is over six feet high (available).
About the ExhibitionCentral Park was conceived to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Park's conception. The exhibition, held at Didier Aaron, Inc. in October of 2003, presented both important landmarks and lesser-known objects that date from the Park's creation to nearly the present day.
The works combine the conventions of architectural presentation—the use of projected shadow to give three-dimensionality to precisely scaled elevational drawings—with a highly realistic watercolor technique. This intense realism—notable in a concern for the quality of light on surfaces and in shadow, the evocation of the texture of materials and the patina of age—when combined with precise draftsmanship and the isolating effect of a white ground, focuses the eye and paradoxically tends to abstract the object depicted.
A series of very large watercolors depict such landmarks as the majestic Bow Bridge and the graceful Obelisk, or Cleopatra's Needle (right). The most unusual set of drawings—in scale, subject, and technique—are life-size elevations of architectural elements: among them a section of the iron work of Vanderbilt Gate at the Conservatory Gardens; elaborate, long-destroyed birdcages lining the Mall; stone ornaments from Bethesda Terrace; and a detail of the Maine Memorial, surprising in that its style anticipates the emergence of art deco by some 20 years. These subjects, chosen for their inherent graphic power, are a series of watercolors of unusual visual presence.
To view available original works from the exhibition, visit or contact Didier Aaron, Inc. in Manhattan. This link transfers you to a gallery of thumbnail images of the majority of watercolors in the exhibition, available as note cards.