Francis Speight, Manayunk Across The Schuykill
Speight often painted Manayunk, a neighborhood along the Schuylkill River in Northwest Philadelphia. He was fascinated by the contrast of the area’s pastoral history and its industrial present. From a high vantage point across the river, the artist depicts billowing smoke, factories, and a radio tower in the distance. In the foreground, women and children follow a walking path defined by the regular intervals of a farm’s wooden fence. The pacing of the figures’ movement in the narrow strip of space suggests the march of time as well as the pace of environmental change.