Although he painted throughout his life, Edward Bruce, who began his career as a lawyer, did not become a professional artist until his mid-forties, after a rigorous six-year apprenticeship in Italy. Returning to the United States in 1925, Bruce soon found national recognition for his paintings; in 1933 he was appointed administrator of the Public Works of Art Project, the first federally supported arts program.
Power is an evocative image of New York painted during the early years of the Depression. Using simplified forms, a refined sense of line, and atmospheric perspective, Bruce presents the Brooklyn Bridge against a luminous view of Manhattan’s distinctive skyline. Throughout Bruce’s life, whether he was an artist or a lobbyist fighting for artist’s rights, Bruce was always promoting national unity and a fervent sense of Americanism. The son of a minister, he brought spiritual fervor to his landscapes and cityscapes. Power conjures a strong sense of American pride, with its shafts of golden light breaking through the dark clouds, creating a radiant aura shining down on New York, America’s greatest and most powerful city.