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Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
GEORGE BELLOWS Dance in a Madhouse.
Lithograph, 1917. 471x624 mm; 18 1/2x24 5/8 inches, full margins. Edition of approximately 77. Signed "Geo. Bellows" and initialed "E.S.B." by the artist's wife, Emma Story Bellows, and inscribed "No. 1" in pencil, lower margin. A brilliant, richly-inked impression of this important lithograph.
Bellows (1882-1925) was part of the second generation of Aschan School artists. Born in Columbus, Ohio he worked as a commercial illustrator as a student at The Ohio State University from 1901-04. After Ohio State, he moved to New York where he studied with Robert Henri and soon became associated with the Aschan artists. He depicted scenes of everyday life in New York that were rooted in realism. He started making lithographs in 1916 and revived interest in the medium as at the time etching was the preferred printmaking method. Lithography gave him a steady stream of income to provide for his family and also grew his popularity as an artist.
Bellows was a family friend of the superintendent of the State Hospital at Columbus, Ohio. He noted that "for years the amusement hall was a gloomy old brown vault where on Thursday nights the patients indulged in 'Round Dances' interspersed with two-steps and waltzes by the visitors. Each of the characters in this print represents a definite individual... This is the happier side of a vast world which a more considerate and wiser society would reduce to a not inconsiderable degree." Mason 49.