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Query builder

Mercedes Autobus, Fifth Avenue and 38th Street, New York

Accession Number
1978/2.42

Title
Mercedes Autobus, Fifth Avenue and 38th Street, New York

Artist(s)
Karl Struss

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
circa 1912

Medium & Support
sepia-toned platinum print on paper

Dimensions
15 15/16 in x 19 5/16 in (40.5 cm x 49 cm);18 3/16 in x 22 1/8 in (46.2 cm x 56.2 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of the artist

Label copy
In addition to the quiet grandeur of his images of the New York Public Library and Pennsylvania Station, the attractions and bustle of New York’s street life also appealed to Struss. His view down Fifth Avenue, with the figures on the upper deck of the Mercedes bus silhouetted against the haze of the background, has an almost cinematic quality. Struss, in fact, had no difficulty making the transition from traditional still photography into moving pictures. He went on to a successful career in Hollywood, winning the first Academy Award for cinematography for his film Sunrise.
Carole McNamara, Assistant Director for Collections & Exhibitions
on the occasion of the exhibition New York Observed: The Mythology of the City
(July 13 – September 22, 2003)

Subject matter
This photograph depicts a slightly elevated view of the traffic-filled intersection of Fifth Avenue and 38th Street in Manhattan. Automobiles are silhouetted by a strong light that illuminates the building facades in the background. A double-decker bus transports a group of individuals, while pedestrians pack the sidewalks on either side of the avenue. The photographer's use of selective focus in combination with the filtered light and sepia-toning serve to soften the hard edges of the city buildings. 

Physical Description
Elevated view of traffic on an urban street. 

Primary Object Classification
Photograph

Collection Area
Photography

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Architecture
Figures
automobiles
buildings
buses
car
cityscapes (representations)
double-deck buses
high-rise buildings
lamp
modern and contemporary art
street scenes
streets
traffic

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved