Grand Central By: Karl Soderlund

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  • Details:

    • iconic, representational symbols, Large Oil Paintings
    • GP-0000979-01
    • 52
    • 56
    • N/A
    • Wooden crate
    • Unique
    • Oil
    • Linen
    • Vertical
    • United States


At the turn of the century Cornelius Vanderbilt merged several train lines in New York that help create one of the worlds wealthiest families. Grand Central Terminal was built to showcase this new transportation hub. In doing so, New York City was forever changed with the midtown location.

This Beaux-art style design is one of the top ten tourist destinations in the world and is the busiest rail station in the country. Behind the majestic design and décor of Grand Central Terminal is a triumph of engineering and ingenuity. A new way of designing a terminal has allowed traffic to grow six fold since it opened in 1913. The information clock in the main concourse has been used as a meeting place for generations. Which is why I choose this to make up the background symbol of this painting.

Some of the earlier train lines such as the 20th Century Limited was a first class express train to Chicago. A red carpet was rolled out to the train from the concourse for passengers to enter and exit the train. It is said that this began the use of red carpets for special events (the Oscar awards). At this time in 1938 the express to Chicago took 16 hours, today's express train takes 19 hours.

Among the many retail and restaurants located in the terminal an art gallery was established by John singer Sargent and several other famous artists. It was one of the largest galleries in the world and was located there for several decades.

The station fell in disrepair in the 1970's and almost went to the wrecking ball if it were not for the efforts of people like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis who fought to gain landmark protection. In 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Grand Centrals landmark status.

In my paintings the subjects are iconic in who they are or what they represent.  However, the real story is what is revealed within the painting.  I use representational symbols to create scenes within paintings to tell the story of the subject.  Like a puzzle, the closer you look, the more symbols you will find.