Folly Theater Art

Thomas Hart Benton: City Activities with Subway

Thomas Hart Benton, artist Reproduction of the original egg tempura and oil painting at The Metropolitan Museum of Art This reproduction of Thomas Hart Benton’s 1930 mural, City Activities with Subway, is teeming with action-filled vignettes of colorful, bawdy, and raucous entertainments and diversions of the 1920s.  The mural also reflects the strains of the era’s growing anxiety over moral and financial crises.  Inspiration for the standing subway rider was drawn from burlesque star, Peggy Reynolds.  Slapstick comedian, Shorty McAllister, often shared the same burlesque stage with Peggy Reynolds, as he is portrayed in the wings of a striptease act at the far left. As depicted in the upper right corner, boxing was a popular form of entertainment during the Jazz Age, owing largely to the popularity of the Jack Dempsey – Gene Tunney matches of the 1920s.  Dempsey boxed on the Folly stage in the mid-1920s.