On the facade of 115 Hamilton Place in Harlem is a mural that looks like Seurat’s famous pointillist painting La Grande Jatte. But look closely and you’ll see it’s a ode to the original by Eva Crockcoft, entitled Homage to Seurat: La Grande Jatte in Harlem. Untapped readers may remember our guide to the real La Grande Jatte just outside Paris, which gives an overview of the many famous Impressionist paintings done on the island.
This mural is the only remaining New York City mural by Eva Crockcroft, who was an artist, art historian, and author instrumental in the national community murals movement. The mural, painted in 1986 transfers Seurat’s original to Harlem. Here, a bugler announces that it is time for church, African-Americans stroll (still with parasol in hand) and “the bold jewel tones of the Caribbean and the American South replace the soft French Impressionist palette.”
Though painted to brighten up the community, time was not kind to the mural and by the late aught’s, the paint was chipped and faded. In 2007, Rescue Public Murals assessed and restored Crockcroft’s beautiful work of art. Over the course of two years, more than 100 hours, 70 colors, 51 brushes, and 18 gallons of paint, and $70,000 were spent to ensure that the vibrancy of the mural and that it will continue to stand for years to come.
When you visit the mural make sure to check out one the City’s only remaining Thomas Edison Lamp Posts nearby.