1. Charles Sheeler

“Skyscrapers” (1922) by Charles Sheeler. Via Wikimedia Commons

Charles Sheeler (1883-1965) was a Philadelphia native who studied at the School of Industrial Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in his hometown. He initially pursued painting and photography, but with the encouragement of Alfred Stieglitz he put his camera aside and moved to New York.

Similar to Marin, many of Sheeler’s pieces focused on built structures, including skyscrapers.  Stylistically, however, he differed from Marin in that he was a leading practitioner of the Precisionist approach, a US-based realist style that emphasized geometric shapes and the connections between people, architecture and other objects of the “Machine Age.”

Next, read about the self-referential skyscraper costumes worn at the 1931 Beaux Arts Ball, Hugh Ferriss’ drawing of future New York, and the top 10 Secrets of the Woolworth Building.