Central Park

SpurbeckJohn - Central Park.JPG

Dublin Core


Central Park


The painting captures NYC’s Central Park on a shadowy afternoon. Cool purples, blues, and greens make up the majority of the image. Trees, bushes, and greenery blend into buildings and cares that make up the city skyline in the background, producing a sense of fluidity. In the foreground, a bridge with coursing river underneath divides the painting. Behind the bridge, the perspective appears to be flattened, almost as if to create dissonance.

About the Artist: Born in Duluth, MN, where his father worked as a train dispatcher for the railroad, Spurbeck studied at the Minneapolis School of Art and later at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1935 he relocated to New York, producing work in oils, water colors, and portrait sketches. It is possible that Spurbeck may have spent some time at the University of Rochester before eventually relocating to Maryland. In 1940 he took a position as director of the illustration division at the Johns Hopkins University, working both an artist and photographer for the biology department, contributing medical illustrations of equipment and specimens. Spurbeck’s wife, Mary (née Rawles), worked as a staff member for the embryology department of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, which was also located on the Johns Hopkins campus. The couple retired together in 1966 to Emporia, VA, Mary’s hometown, where he continued to paint, draw, and sculpt.


Spurbeck, John S., 1911-1993


Federal Art Project




Ritz, Abigail (photographer)

Sheedy, Marianna (biography)

Cooper, Ken (biography)


New Deal Gallery, Genesee Valley Council on the Arts

Object #FA18274


jpeg, 979 KB


Still image



Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Oil painting

Physical Dimensions

20 x 24 in.
Condition: slightly pitted, surface dirt