Lake Street, c. 1920 -30s, oil on board, 12 x 9 inches, signed lower right and verso, titled verso
About the Painting
At the center of Oscar Daniel Soellner’s Lake Street, we see the stairway leading to an elevated railway station on what is now Chicago’s Green Line route. When its first section opened in 1893 as the second permanent elevated rapid transit line in Chicago, this route was known as the Lake Street Elevated Railroad. Chicago’s “L,” like the New York subway and rapid transit system, played an instrumental role in the development of the urban economy and the overall look and feel of the city. The formal aspects of urban railroads and the role they played in efficiently moving large number of everyday citizens across America’s growing metropolises were catnip for many American Scene painters during the first half of the 20th Century. Here, Soellner uses the techniques of the impressionists and the palette of the Ash Can School, to convincingly depict a classic Chicago scene.
About the Artist
Oscar Daniel Soellner was an American Scene and landscape painter who lived and worked in Chicago and Grand Detour, Illinois. Born to a German immigrant father who worked as a woodcarver, Soellner took an early interest in art and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. He was a member of many art organizations in Illinois, including the Chicago Galleries Association, Chicago’s Palette & Chisel Academy and the Illinois Academy of Fine Art. Soellner was also an important member of the Grand Detour Art Colony, which served as a rural escape for many Chicago-based painters and sculptors. His works were exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Academy of Design, the Herron Art Institute, and other significant venues. He worked primarily in an impressionist style that served him well in both his urban and rural scenes. His listing in Who was Who in American Art, comments that “His poetic landscapes distinguish him as an important American regionalist.” Soellner is also listed in other standard references.