Edith Neff, Starr Garden Playground, Lombard Street
Neff enjoyed painting the Philadelphia playgrounds that she loved as a child, such as the Starr Garden Playground at 6th and Lombard Streets depicted here. Dynamic patterns of sunlight and shadow activate the composition and seem to encourage the motion of the figures. Portraits of four children Neff encountered in the park occupy the lower center.
Neff’s sister Maria explains, “The park was important to us when we were growing up. Part of this polyptych is Edie looking back at her own life growing up in Philadelphia, the city that formed us as kids. We also used to go to Smith Playground fairly frequently. I scattered some of Edie’s ashes there.”