Chrysler Building

Howard Cook

Chrysler Building (Chrysler Building in Construction), 1930, wood engraving, edition 75 (only 50 printed), Duffy 122. Signed, dated, and annotated 'imp' in pencil. Titled 'Chrysler Bldg.' in the bottom left margin.

Image size 10 1/16 x 6 11/16 inches (256 x 170 mm); sheet size 11 7/8 x 9 inches (302 x 229 mm).

A superb, black impression, on thin, cream wove Japan paper, with full margins (1 1/4 to 5/8 inches), in excellent condition. Printed by the artist.

'Chrysler Building' is among the artist's most well-known precisionist works. Cook's dramatic composition emphasizes the monumental, sculptural presence of the Chrysler Building, by framing it with the surrounding smaller buildings—the angular geometry and stark contrasts of light and dark convey the dynamism of the emerging New York City skyline. When Cook created this work, before the completion of the building's now-famous art deco crown, the structure was the world's tallest building, holding the title for 11 months until it was surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931. The Chrysler Building still ranks as the tallest brick building in the world (though the internal skeleton is steel), and remains New York City's most famous Art Deco landmark.

Collections: Cornell University Library, Baltimore Museum of Art, Boston Public Library, Cleveland Museum of Art, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art (Cornell), Hood Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Museum of Modern Art, New Mexico Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, New York Public Library.

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10 1/16 x 6 11/16 inches