Central Yonkers

George Burnham (American, dates unknown)
ca. 1859
Currently on view
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions38 3/4 × 54 1/8 inches
CreditGift of Miss Harriet McDonald and the Heirs of Robert Parkhill Getty, 1941
Accession Number41.102b

George Burnham’s peaceful 1850s Yonkers scene depicts a verdant ravine with a cow grazing beside a stream, probably the Saw Mill River. By 1859, the year this painting was made, trains had been stopping at Yonkers for almost ten years, enabling an insurgence of industrialism that far outpaced traditional commercial river traffic. If this painting does indeed depict the Saw Mill River, then a factory—harbinger of the new industrial age—may have been located just around the bend and deliberately ignored by the artist.