The Growing City

MAKER:
Artist

George Grosz ( American, born Germany, 1893 - 1959 )

DATE:
1952
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General Description

George Grosz investigated downtown Dallas from street level, peering up at rising skyscrapers, and also from high above the city, where he captured a bird's-eye view of downtown Dallas, perhaps from the top of the Mercantile Bank Building, then still the tallest structure in the city. The contrast between the dense energy of the city's center and the vast emptiness of its periphery in The Growing City echoes the well-worn "origin myth" of Dallas as a city that owed its existence to the relentless energy and commercial ambitions of its business leaders.

Excerpt from

Heather MacDonald, Flower of the Prairie: George Grosz in Dallas (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art, 2012), 56.

NOTES

Created in 1952

Heather MacDonald, DMA label copy, 2012:

Grosz investigated Dallas from both street level and high above the city, where he captured this bird's-eye view of downtown Dallas. He may have been at the top of the Mercantile Bank Building, then still the tallest structure in the city. The contrast between the dense energy of the city's center and the vast emptiness of its periphery echoes the well-worn myth of Dallas as a city that owed its existence not to any natural features of the prairie landscape but rather to the relentless energy and commercial ambitions of its business leaders.

Fun Facts

  • In the 1920s the population of Dallas was around 160,000. By the 1950s, when this watercolor was created, the population had risen to over 430,000.

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