Jon Berg Fine Art
MARY ORKIN (1894-1987) naive style painting of children sledding in Central Park dated 1958

MARY ORKIN (1894-1987) naive style painting of children sledding in Central Park dated 1958


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Directory: Fine Art: Paintings: Oil: N. America: American: Pre 1960: Item # 1420650

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A wonderful oil painting on canvasboard in naive/primitive style, 12" by 16" and featuring happy children sledding down a hill in Central Park in New York City one cold winter afternoon near dusk. The work is titled at lower right "Central Park" and is signed at lower left by artist MARY RUBY ORKIN (1894-1987). On the reverse is written "Copyrighted 1958 by Mark Orkin/Central Park West NYC 10023/#7 Sledding Hill at Sunset behind the Met". Note details like the piston airplane in the sky at left. Upon Orkin's death in December, 1987, her obituary appeared in the New York Times: "Mary Ruby Orkin, who in her 60's became known for her primitive paintings of Central Park, died on Sunday at Kateri Residence, a nursing home in Manhattan. She was 93 years old. Mrs. Orkin, who was born in Brooklyn, worked in vaudeville and as a silent screen actress in Hollywood through the early 1920's. She was a piano teacher in Los Angeles until the 1940's, after which she returned to New York. She turned to painting in the early 1960's after becoming hard of hearing. Her works were widely reproduced in magazines and were shown in several New York gallery exhibitions, including shows at the Park South Gallery in 1971, and at the Witkin Gallery in 1981. The latter was a joint exhibition with her daughter, the photographer Ruth Orkin, who was best-known for her photographs of Central Park before her death in 1985. There were no immediate survivors." Orkin's daughter, Ruth Orkin (1921-1985), became a well-known photographer at mid century, succumbing to cancer in her mid 60's.