Tompkins Square Park on Exhibit

Tompkins Square Park on Exhibit
Saul Kovner’s Tompkins Park, N.Y. City was painted in 1934, through the Public Works of Art Project. Image via Smithsonian American Art Museum.
A children's garden opened in Tompkins Square Park in 1934. Photo courtesy of the New York City Parks Photo Archive.

A children’s garden opened in Tompkins Square Park in 1934. Photo courtesy of the New York City Parks Photo Archive.

For the next two Sundays, GVSHP is teaming up with GrowNYC and the East Village Parks Conservancy to explore and celebrate the Tompkins Square Greenmarket. We’ll be sharing images of the current market, scenes from out on the farms, and some historic images of the park. You’ll be able to peruse this pop-up exhibit, shop the bounty of the market, and enjoy some delicious samples from the market. For those who can’t wait for Sunday, however, we thought you would enjoy a preview of a few of the images here on Off the Grid.

Plan for Improvements of Tompkins Square Park 1870-1871. Photo courtesy of the New York City Parks Photo Archive.

Plan for Improvements of Tompkins Square Park 1870-1871. Photo courtesy of the New York City Parks Photo Archive.

The land for Tompkins Square Park was ceded to the city in 1834. No, we didn’t find any photographs of the park from that time period, but thanks to the New York City Parks Photo Archive, we do have this image of   a proposal for the park’s design in 1870.

An 1891 print: Popular concert in Tompkins Square, N.Y. Photo via New York Public Library

An 1891 print: Popular concert in Tompkins Square, N.Y. Photo via New York Public Library

Concerts took place in Tompkins Square Park during the 1890s.

Photo, 1911, courtesy of the New York City Parks Photo Archive.

Photo, 1911, courtesy of the New York City Parks Photo Archive.

By 1911, the park evidently had separate boys and girls playgrounds.

Saul Kovner’s Tompkins Park, N.Y. City was painted in 1934, through the Public Works of Art Project. Image via Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Saul Kovner’s Tompkins Park, N.Y. City was painted in 1934, through the Public Works of Art Project. Image via Smithsonian American Art Museum.

While the community didn’t have much during the Great Depression, children seemed to continue to enjoy Tompkins Square Park. Of course, this painting was made under the auspices of the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP), a New Deal program created by the federal government to offer work and financial support to America’s artists.

There will be plenty more images available for you to enjoy this Sunday, September 28 and the following Sunday, October 5 from 11:00 to 4:00 at the Tompkins Square greenmarket. More information about this pop up exhibit can be found here.

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Sheryl
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Sheryl Woodruff was GVSHP's Senior Director of Operations until December 2014.

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