Five decades of New York City have been captured by Jill Gill in Site Lines: Lost New York 1954-2022. The book features a collection of Gill's beautiful streetscape paintings with accompanying essays by New York Times columnist John Freeman Gill and Marc Hacker.
Born and bred New Yorker Jill Gill is equal parts artist and author, commentator and collector, a true inamorata of the ever-changing city. Since the mid-1950s, she has captured the buildings and streetscapes of the city (especially those about to be lost to urban renewal) in a series of more than 100 watercolor and ink paintings. The New York she portrays is one of classic movies, vintage postcards, and hand-painted wall advertisements.
The scenes in Site Lines: Lost New York, 1954–2022 extend from Midtown South, home of the artist from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s, to the Upper East Side, where she and her family lived in a historic Rhinelander townhouse. Along the way she passes through Midtown, including storied Fifth Avenue and the Theater District, and the Upper West Side.
Her work includes buildings both important and unimportant that would otherwise have been lost to memory: the glorious Helen Hayes Theater, the Art Deco Horn & Hardart Automat on 57th Street, and blocks upon blocks of ordinary yet distinctive retail and commercial structures. In addition, Gill includes buildings that have themselves been quietly observing the changing city, often changing along with it: St. Bart’s, the Villard Houses, and MoMA before it “ate” 53rd Street. Each scene is accompanied by text that blends in-depth research with first-hand observation.
- 224 pages
- 9.6 x 1 x 10.3 inches
- by Jill Gill, with John Freeman Gill and Marc Hacker