“THE NEW BRIDGE” By RALPH KERZESKE (American, active in the Pittsburgh area during the early 20th century)

Oil on canvas, 28 x 36 inches (canvas), 36 x 44 (frame), signed lower left.

An excellent and large example of a tonalist painting from the early 20th century. Member: Pittsburgh Art Association.

Exhibited: Corcoran Gallery, 1910; Art Institute of Chicago, 1911, 1913; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1912; Carnegie Institute’s International

Exhibitions, 1901, 1905- 1910, 1913 – 1914. (References: Falk (ed), Who Was Who in American Art, 1564 – 1975; Falk (ed), Record of the Carnegie Institute’s International Exhibitions, 1896 – 1996; Rutledge & Falk (eds), The Annual Exhibition Record of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Falk (ed), The Annual Exhibition Record of the Art Institute of Chicago, 188 – 1950; Cohen, Tonalism, An American Interpretation of the Landscape.) Estate of Dr. Roy Egan, lifelong collector of vernacular Pittsburgh art. Note: The very limited information found on the internet about the artist is erroneous. Kerzeske’s date of birth, at one location on the internet, is given as “ca. 1893.” Since Kerzeske exhibited at Carnegie Institute beginning in 1901, the birth date of 1893 would indicate that he was 8 or 9 years old when he first exhibited at the Carnegie. Obviously, the date of 1893 is incorrect. The bridge being built in the painting is arguably the Manchester Bridge. “The Manchester Bridge became Pittsburgh’s second bridge to span from the Point to the North Shore. Its’ predecessor, the wooden covered Union Bridge, opened in 1874 and was demolished in 1907 after suffering extensive damage from a major flood that same year. The new bridge was constructed from 1911 – 1915 and was opened by Mayor Joseph G. Armstrong on August 8, 1915. It carried motorists across the Allegheny River for the next 54 years.” (Reference: Wikipedia.org, Manchester Bridge (Pittsburgh) & Google Search, Pittsburgh Historic Bridge Construction 1913, page 3. Included in this information is a photographic image of the bridge during its’ construction. The photograph is almost identical to the image in this painting; the differences being that the painting was rendered sometime before the photograph was taken, thus a slightly different state of construction.

Price:  $7,800

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