River Scene



River Scene


Edith Goe Pearce
Pennsylvania 1889-1975 Pinellas, Florida




oil on masonite


20 x 24.5 in.


Pearce’s River Scene shows one of the Three Sisters’ bridges in Pittsburgh—the first self-anchored suspension bridges in the United States. Constructed of steel and spanning the Allegheny River at 6th, 7th, and 9th streets, the bridges’ adaptive engineering design was a creative response to local political and aesthetic concerns and national regulations.

From the 1800s until the 1940s, floating neighborhoods of houseboats, known as shanty boats or jo-boats, moored along the banks of Pittsburgh’s rivers. The houseboats in River Scene were part of an ad hoc neighborhood that stretched from above the 9th Street bridge down to the Ohio River. Economic necessity kept some Pittsburgh residents in floating neighborhoods until publicly-subsidized housing was established in the mid-20th century.

Pearce, an active member of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, maintained a studio in Beaver, Pennsylvania and taught art in Pittsburgh elementary schools. After moving to Florida in 1950, she helped found the Art Guild of St. Petersburg Inc. and establish an annual prize to support local artists.




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