Platemark: 23.2 x 25.8 cm (9 1/8 x 10 3/16 in.); Sheet: 28.6 x 40.5 cm (11 1/4 x 15 15/16 in.)
Mr. and Mrs. Lewis B. Williams Collection 1941.479
Catalogue raisonné: Robinson and Pirog 50
In the 1920s, over 25 ferry routes connected New York City’s five boroughs; these routes declined with the construction of bridges and tunnels.
In the early 1900s, ferry boats connected Staten Island to Manhattan and Brooklyn. Mabel Dwight often took the ferry to Staten Island and back, sketchbook in hand, to capture the unexpected interactions provided by public transportation. In this scene, two matrons, perhaps traveling to Manhattan for a day of shopping or errands, sit beside a nun, who finds a moment of quiet solace in a prayer book. A frequent character in prints of the era, nuns signaled Old World European values, often in contrast to the increasingly secular and commercial culture of the American city.
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