New York Central Building

Chesley K. Bonestell (1888-1986)
Date: c. 1929
Medium: Oil on board
Dimensions: 46 3/4 H x 30 W
Inscription: Signed, lower left: Chesley Bonestell
Credit: Gift of the New York Central Railroad
Accession Number: 1959.130.94
Comments: In the 1920s and 1930s, the New York Central Railroad commissioned noted artists to paint attractive scenes and popular destinations served by the railroad to use on promotional calendars, literature, and posters. This dramatic oil painting was the original artwork for one of these posters. It shows a nighttime view of Manhattan's New York Central Building, which featured two huge Roman arches, the glow of 100,000 candlepower, and was bathed with floodlights. Chesley Bonestell was a commercial and architectural designer who later did artwork for motion pictures including Citizen Kane and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and illustrations for major magazines and books. This is one of more than 500 objects related to the New York Central Railroad in the Albany Institute's collections.