Rockefeller Center at Night

Accession Number

Rockefeller Center at Night

Paul J. Woolf

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
platinum print on paper

9 1/2 in x 6 3/4 in (24.13 cm x 17.15 cm);19 3/4 in x 14 3/4 in (50.17 cm x 37.47 cm);9 5/8 in x 6 7/8 in (24.45 cm x 17.46 cm);14 in x 11 in (35.56 cm x 27.94 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of The Morris and Beverly Baker Foundation, in memory of Morris D. Baker, a graduate of The University of Michigan School of Architecture, 1952

Label copy
Woolf’s studio business included night photography, and here we see a nocturnal view of Rockefeller Center from Fifth Avenue. The lights on the lower buildings in the foreground allow a rapid recession into space with the lighted tower soaring, cropped to accentuate its height.
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 is a photograph of Rockefeller Center in 1934. This image was created at night and depicts the bright artificial lighting of modern commercial buildings. The Rockefeller Center's main tower is left of center, with two smaller buildings framing it in the lower half of the frame, their lines converging at the base of the Rockefeller center. The building is cropped at the top of the frame, resulting in a feeling that the building's narrow facade extends into infinity. 

Physical Description
Elevated view of Rockefeller Center illuminated at night by artificial lights.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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Art Deco
architecture (discipline)
artificial light
buildings (structures)
cityscapes (representations)
night photography

7 Related Resources

Architecture in Photography 1900-1948
(Part of 7 Learning Collections)
Film Noir, Visuality and Themes
(Part of 8 Learning Collections)
New York City
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Technology and Modernity in Photography 1900-1948
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
The City in Photography 1900-1948
(Part of 8 Learning Collections)
The Modern Metropolis
(Part of 7 Learning Collections)
Visual Forms of the Avant Garde - a survey
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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