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collections > permanent collection > prints > GEORGE BELLOWS

George Bellows
(American, 1882-1925)
The Drunk, Second Stone, 1923-24
Lithograph on Basingwerk parchment paper,

16” x 13”
Gift of the Frank and Margaret Sullivan Fund (2008.130)

George Bellows was a prominent member of the Ashcan School, that group of urban realists that included Robert Henri and John Sloan among others.  Like Sloan, Bellows was a printmaker as well as a painter, and his dramatic lithographs are among the most memorable of the twentieth century.  The Drunk, Second Stone illustrates Bellows’ penchant for both vigorous action and pronounced chiaroscuro (light and dark) effects.  Depicting a domestic struggle in which two young women attempt to restrain a violently intoxicated man (presumably the head of the household), this lithograph was used to illustrate “Why We Prohibit,” an article written by Mabel Potter Daggett and published in Good Housekeeping magazine in 1924.

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Bellows attended Ohio State University before dropping out to attend William Merritt Chase’s New York School of Art.  At Chase’s School, Bellows studied with Robert Henri and soon became one of his most promising pupils.  Subscribing to Henri’s belief that modern painters should paint scenes from everyday life, Bellows gained recognition for his paintings of inner city children, boxing matches, and other urban themes.  The artist began devoting significant time to lithography beginning in 1916, and during World War I, he produced a series of prints depicting German atrocities in Belgium.  Bellows also created a number of lithographic portraits and figure studies, and was a frequent contributor to various popular publications.