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Phillip Lopate describes the shape of Manhattan Island as‘a luxury liner, permanently docked, going nowhere’. This feeling of being tethered to the land, unable to get to sea, was a feature of New York life for much of the twentieth century. New York was an island without a coast. The West Side piers that once welcomed the Lusitania spent most of the twentieth century crumbling or behind barbed wire, while the East Side’s coves and points were cut off from pedestrians by six lanes of the Robert Moses-designed Franklin Delano Roosevelt Drive. It wasn’t much easier to reach the shores of Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx, either: with a few exceptions, they were largely reserved for municipal or industrial use, and easiest to see from the Staten Island Ferry (en route to the borough with the most beaches). Now, slowly, the city is reclaiming its shoreline, with some spectacular results.

Whales by Nicholas Hurd

OBJECT: Whale

BODY OF WATER: East Hampton, Gowanus Canal

Artist's Statement

This print a re-strike of original linoleum block carvings by Clement Hurd, illustrator of Goodnight Moon. The original linoleum blocks were carved as illustrations for the Children’s book The Mother Whale written by Edith Thacher Hurd 1973. The blocks were rediscovered by their grandson Nicholas Hurd who has reprinted the blocks in the form of a larger print.


Nicholas Hurd is an artist and printer from Oakland, California. He received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA from the California College of Art. Nick is one half of the art duo Mack Card and runs the Brooklyn letterpress shop Wasp Poster & Print , producing posters, cards and artist editions. He is an expert letterpress printer and has taught extensively at the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California and the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop in NYC.