Like the other artists of the Ashcan School George Luks made a name for himself by creating paintings of the urban poor and the tenement neighborhoods of lower Manhattan. Luks was, perhaps, the member of the group whose paintings of this difficult subject matter were the most coarse and unflinching. He was known to have been lively and cantankerous, a drinker and a carouser who found the hardscrabble lives of immigrants and loners more stimulating than those of the upper classes.
In 1918 Luks painted Blue Devils on Fifth Avenue, a scene of French veterans on parade in New York (now owned by the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC), for an exhibition of paintings in support of Allied efforts in World War I. The Mint Museums Carnival Scene, which includes figures clad in similar blue military garb as well as French flags, is likely a related work.
Place object was created: United States
oil paint, canvas
Measurements: height: 26.75 inches width: 30.75 inches smallest height: 18 inches smallest width: 22 inchesGift of the Mint Museum Auxiliary 1977.85
Currently on view at Mint Museum UPTOWN