Boy with Chrysanthemums
Eugene H. Thomason (American, 1895 - 1972)
Eugene Thomason was born in South Carolina and moved to Charlotte with his family in 1911 at the age of sixteen. By 1920 he had relocated to New York to pursue his interest in art at the Art Students League, where he studied under John Sloan. Soon, however, Thomason met Sloan’s colleague George Luks, who had a tremendous influence on him and who soon became one of his close personal friends. The two started an art school together in 1925 and Luks was a frequent visitor at Thomason’s home in the North Carolina mountains in the 1930s and 1940s.
While the pose of the boy in this large-scale portrait is reminiscent of Rodin’s famous 1880 sculpture The Thinker, the rough surface, thick layers of paint, and everyday subject matter all suggest the impact that working with Luks had upon Thomason’s art. Thomason left New York in 1932; by 1934 he was living in Charlotte, where this painting was likely created. He was one of the first artists to have a solo exhibition at The Mint Museum, which displayed a selection of his recent paintings in 1937, just a year after it opened to the public.
Place object was created: United States
oil paint, canvas
Measurements: frame height: 49 inches frame width: 43.5 inches canvas height: 41.38 inches canvas width: 35.25 inches frame depth: 2.75 inchesGift of Dr. A. Everett James, Jr. and Jeannette Cross James 1981.82
Currently on view at Mint Museum UPTOWN