Jefferson Market Courthouse in New York

A Love Affair with a Landmark in Manhattan: An Arresting Drama in Greenwich Village. [Opinions expressed are the views of OLD JEFF unless attributed to other - - potentially less-reliable - - sources, i.e., newcomers who have not been around since 1832 on Sixth Avenue.]

Friday, November 11, 2005

Jefferson Market, Jumble & Jo Cain

When Jo Cain died on September 7, 2003, the hideous scaffold was already in place, its barbed wire trim stretching across the face of Jefferson Market Library not unlike the thorny hedge blocking Sleeping Beauty's castle, cursed by the Evil Fairy.
During the 1930s, as part of a WPA project, artist Joseph Lambert Cain [1904-2003] did a 23-inch-high oil painting of Jefferson Market, partially obscured by the elevated train on Sixth Avenue. The New Orleans native had been enrolled at the Hans Hofmann School of Art [52 West 8th Street] then.

In November 1932, proprietors of the Jumble Shop - - Winifred J. Tucker and Frances E. Russell - - were planning an art show. Pictures were being selected by a committee, they had told the N.Y. Times, composed of Guy Pene du Bois [of West 9th Street], H.E. Schnackenberg, and Reginald Marsh.
_ _ _ "The Jumble Shop, at 28 West Eighth Street, has for some tme concerned itself with more than just the serving of food. It serves art as well, in a series of informal exhibitions which are open to the public all day" [wrote the N.Y. Times, 21 December 1932, along with a full list of the participants including Jo Cain].
_ _ _ Welcome to the winter of our discontent in Greenwich Village: West 8th Street, as attractive as a leper's colony, and Jefferson Market, a jumble of barbed wire over a jungle-gym of rotting wooden scaffolding. Arrrgghhh!

Jefferson Market.