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George Luks
American, 1867 - 1933

Boy with Dice, ca. 1923-1924
American Painting
Oil on canvas
30 5/16 x 26 5/16 in. (77 x 66.8 cm), without frame

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas H. Hawks, in honor of Harris K. Prior,  74.103

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About the Object

This painting of a shoeshine boy is a part of a series Luks made of young boys who worked on the streets of New York.  
[Gallery label text, 2007

Luks, like Glackens, was originally from Philadelphia and moved to New York City in 1896. He was one of The Eight who exhibited together at Macbeth Gallery in 1908, and his painting of a boy with dice reflects his interest in depicting aspects of life in the lower classes.  Here, a boy who looks to be no more than ten is smoking, more than likely earning his own living as a shoeshine boy, and supplementing his income by gambling.  

The painting, inscribed To Elizabeth, was given by the artist to his student, Elizabeth Olds, who studied with him at the Art Students League in New York City.  Elizabeth Olds was an accomplished printmaker and, like her teacher, believed in the importance of art for all people, not just the upper classes.  

[Gallery label text, 2003]