Francis Speight, Near Manayunk Station
This work presents a quaint depiction of the Manayunk community and their telltale sloped streetways. St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, a local landmark, juts out in the distance to the right.
On the back of the painting’s canvas, a small pencil notation writes:
“I’m going to see if he’s making everything the right way. He isn’t.”
The comment was made by a child observing the artist paint. Speight believed children were the most honest and observant critics, enjoying the remark so much he left it on his own piece.
Woodmere has collected numerous works by artists who found their inspiration in Manayunk, an industrial and residential neighborhood on the Schuylkill River northwest of Philadelphia. Claude Joseph Warlow, Antonio P. Martino, and Ron Tarver are among those who have been drawn to Manayunk visual richness: the drama of its steep terrain and its mix of monumental, industrial, and domestic architecture.