Otto Bacher was the third member of the artist colony to move to Lawrence Park. Prior to establishing his Bronxville residency in 1896, Bacher studied painting with Frank Duveneck, who, with William Merritt Chase, had been among the first Americans enrolled at the Royal Academy in Munich. In 1880 the “Duveneck’s Boys” traveled to Venice for the summer where they met and worked with James McNeill Whistler. Bacher later continued his studies in Paris where his work was accepted in the Salon of 1886 and in the 1889 Paris world’s fair.
Ship and Elevator was executed a year before Bacher began to study under Duveneck. In contrast to his later well-known series of etchings of the Danube and scenes of Venice, this work reflects a novice’s understanding of the medium. Working with Duveneck and especially Whistler, Bacher’s etchings became complex and sophisticated.