Listening to Art

09.05: David Milne, 42nd Street Library

Download (MP3).

Listening to Art, by William Denton.

Volume nine, number five: 42nd Street Library by David Milne.

Hello, and welcome to Listening to Art. I’m William Denton.

David Milne (1882–1953) was a Canadian artist who studied and first achieved recognition in New York City, where he moved in 1903. In 1913 he exhibited five paintings at the famous Armory Show (where Marcel Duchamp, the greatest artist of the twentieth century, showed Nude Descending a Staircase to much controversy). This painting dates from 1913 but was not in the Armory Show.

The library of the title is the famous Main Branch of the New York Public Library, which at the time was quite new, having opened on 23 May 1911. If you are ever in Manhattan and have not been there, I highly recommend visiting and walking up the staircase between the two lions, Patience and Fortitude. It is a stunning building and the Main Reading Room is spectacular.

This is a painting, watercolour on illustration board, 36.5 cm wide by 42.9 cm high.

Now let’s listen to 42nd Street Library by David Milne, recorded at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, in Kleinburg, Ontario, on 29 December 2018.

Waveform of the field recording.

That was 42nd Street Library by David Milne. I hope you enjoyed listening to it as much as I did.

For more information and links to things I’ve mentioned, please visit

Listening to Art is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


All web sites accessed as of date of publication.

The Canadian Encyclopedia, s.v. “David Milne,”

New York Historical Society. “Armory Show 1913 Complete List.” The Armory Show at 100.

New York Public Library. “The Library Lions.” The New York Public Library.

Wikipedia, s.v. “Armory Show,”

⸻, s.v. “David Milne,”