East River from the Shelton Hotel1928 by Georgia O'Keeffe

The Shelton Hotel opened in midtown Manhattan in 1924 as the tallest hotel in the world. O’Keeffe, who lived in the Shelton between 1925 and 1936, took advantage of the bird’s-eye view from her apartment on the 30th floor to capture this panoramic, aerial view of the East River waterfront, looking across to Long Island City, Queens. Rendered in dull tones and pictured with factory stacks belching filthy smoke into the air, the hazy composition presents an inhospitable, industrial landscape that betrays the painter’s increasing dissatisfaction with modern urban life.

...A lot interesting stuff happened at the Shelton, both good and bad. Harry Houdini performed one of his famous escape-from-an-underwater-coffin-tricks at the hotel pool. But also actress Pauline Armitage committed suicide by throwing herself off the 14th floor.
Silke van de Grift
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