George Wesley Bellows

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 Henri 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.

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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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