Bellows, George Wesley

Bellows, George Wesley,

1882–1925, American painter, draftsman, and lithographer, b. Columbus, Ohio. The son of an engineer, architect, and builder, he left Ohio State Univ. in his senior year to study painting under Robert HenriHenri, Robert
, 1865–1929, American painter and teacher, b. Cincinnati as Robert Henry Cozad. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1888 he went to Paris, where he worked at Julian's and the Beaux-Arts until, dissatisfied with the schools, he set up
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 in New York City. Bellows never visited Europe and seemed uninfluenced by the currents affecting his European contemporaries, but he actively supported independent art movements in New York City and painted in an American modernist style. His work has a direct and unselfconscious realism. Forty-two Kids (1907, Corcoran Gall., Washington, D.C.); Up the River (Metropolitan Mus.); Stag at Sharkey's (1909, Mus. of Art, Cleveland); and a portrait of the artist's mother (Art Inst., Chicago) are characteristic paintings. Bellows revived lithography in the United States, and his prints are as important as his paintings. Billy Sunday, Dance in a Mad House, and Dempsey and Firpo are American classics. He was also a noted teacher at the Art Students League, New York City.

Bibliography

See collection of his lithographs by E. S. Bellows (1927); studies by P. Boswell, Jr. (1942), C. H. Morgan (1965), M. S. Young (1973), M. Doezema (1992), N. Stevens, ed. (1992), M. S. Haverstock (2007), and C. Brock, ed. (2012).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bellows, George Wesley

 

Born Aug. 12, 1882, in Columbus, Ohio; died Jan. 8, 1925, in New York. American painter and graphic artist.

As a student of R. Henri and the most important realistic artist in the USA at the beginning of the 20th century, Bellows provided a broad and varied dramatic picture of American life in its true colors, depicting jails and slums, boxing matches, lynchings of Negroes, and scenes of work and carousals (Stag at Sharkey’s, 1909, Cleveland Museum of Art; Blessing in Georgia, 1916, Gallery of Fine Arts, Columbus; The Sand Team, 1917, Brooklyn Museum, New York). Bellows’ pictures, including his landscapes and portraits (Elinor, Jean, and Anna, 1920, Albright Gallery, Buffalo), are characterized by a free style of painting as well as by acute observation and a quality of the unexpected in the composition.

REFERENCE

Boswell, P. George Bellows. New York, 1942.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.