"New York Old and New," detailSource: NYC Department of Education, Public Art for Public Schools
The school auditorium contains a set of murals by Sacha Moldovan entitled “New York Old and New,” painted under the auspices of the WPA.
“Drawing inspiration from historic images of New York as well as 1930s views of the city, Sacha Moldovan created a fanciful panorama of New York City, old and new, blending recognizable landmarks with a naïve sensibility.
Moldovan was born in Russia but lived and worked in Paris, where he came of age artistically as a member of the School of Paris, befriending Henri Matisse and Chaim Soutine. Moldovan’s paintings feature thick applications of brilliant color, heavy outlines, and an unnaturalistic perspective. Although many of his paintings project a somber mood, the murals he created for the auditorium of P.S. 164 are lively and whimsical. They depict Wall Street in 1776 and in 1937 (with Trinity Church in both panels and the Stock Exchange in the 1930s version), Bowling Green as it may have appeared in the nineteenth century, and 1930s views of an undeveloped Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn and Central Park ringed by Art Deco skyscrapers.” (Public Art for New York Schools website)
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