George Bellows: Painter with a Punch!

Overview

No punches are pulled in this fascinating biography that covers the life and work of the prolific artist George Bellows. Having spent most of his adult life in New York City, Bellows left behind an extraordinary body of work that captures life in this dynamic city: bustling street scenes, ringside views of boxing matches, and boys diving and swimming in the East River. Art reproductions and photographs from ...
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Overview

No punches are pulled in this fascinating biography that covers the life and work of the prolific artist George Bellows. Having spent most of his adult life in New York City, Bellows left behind an extraordinary body of work that captures life in this dynamic city: bustling street scenes, ringside views of boxing matches, and boys diving and swimming in the East River. Art reproductions and photographs from his youth round out the book.

Praise for George Bellows

STARRED REVIEW
"Upbeat prose, photographs, and reproductions of George Bellows’s paintings provide an insightful homage to the urban artist and athlete. Burleigh places readers right in the moment."
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“The book’s excellent reproductions of Bellows’ work will excite young readers and budding artists. A fine portrait of an artist not on everyone’s radar but whose work can be readily understood and appreciated by youngsters.”
Kirkus Reviews

"Veteran biographer Burleigh breathes a great deal of vitality into Bellows’ short but significant life and career. Accompanied by Bellows’ striking and powerful works, this is an artist bio that, like its subject, packs a punch."
Booklist

"Burleigh tells Bellows’s story with immediacy and with a firm grasp of his audience, striking the right balance of broad stroke and detail. Burleigh’s admiration of his subject comes through loud and strong and infectiously. And there are handsome reproductions of Bellows’s work...This impressive book captures the connection between the man and the world he observed during his short life. A new generation of young urban observers will be grateful."
New York Times

"This is a beautifully illustrated biography of painter George Bellows. Bellows found his inspiration in the working class, including the gritty night life of the city... Burleigh adds to the interest of the story through direct quotes that are well-documented."
Library Media Connection

"Burleigh is an enthusiastic and adept tour guide through Bellows’s New York milieu. Crisp reproductions coordinate closely with the text, so readers will easily connect..."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Award
Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) Choices 2013 list - The Arts
2013 ALA/ALSC Notable Book
 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Upbeat prose, photographs, and reproductions of George Bellows’s paintings provide an insightful homage to the urban artist and athlete who found inspiration in unlikely places. Burleigh places readers right in the moment as Bellows (1882–1925) seeks subjects to paint, which include the slums on New York City’s Lower East Side, illegal boxing matches, and construction sites: “He has his own goal: to wrestle a picture from the chaotic scene, to capture the wild energy of the moment!” Each reproduction is accompanied by thought-provoking analysis and insight into New York history. Bellows emerges as an artist of striking diversity. Ages 8–12. (June)
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Bellows, an early-20th-century genre painter, is hardly a household name, but Burleigh tells his story with enthusiasm in this well-written biography. As a young man, Bellows left his hometown in Ohio and headed for New York to follow his dream of becoming an artist. In art school he studied under Robert Henri, who encouraged him to paint what he saw around him. The author recounts how Bellows wandered the streets of the city sketching tenements and crowded sidewalks. Just as his art was beginning to gain national acclaim, he died of appendicitis. Burleigh is an adept storyteller, and his language is both informal and engaging. As he recounts the painter's life, he seamlessly refers to large, full-color reproductions of the man's work that illustrate each spread. The book ends with a lengthy list of places where one could see a Bellows painting in person, and a thorough index. An accessible introduction to a lesser-known, but fascinating American artist.—Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
Kirkus Reviews
That American painter George Bellows (1882-1925) packed a punch is shown to dramatic effect in this admiring introduction to his life and work. A career in art won out over sports, though Bellows' athletic prowess informed a number of his paintings, including several boxing scenes, among his most celebrated works. Bellows differed from many artists before him, preferring not to paint the pretty but instead executing on canvas gritty scenes that reflected early-20th-century New York City at its most real. The book's excellent reproductions of Bellows' work will excite young readers and budding artists. They will appreciate the vigorous brushstrokes as much as the child-appealing contents and titles of some of the works. Most stimulating to would-be artists is the author's emphasis on the idea that drove Bellows: Art is everywhere--in the streets and in citizens' bustling, everyday lives and activities. Not surprisingly, beauty is easily found in these paintings, even those depicting a construction site and tenements. Some softer work is displayed, too, including tender paintings of Bellows' wife and younger daughter. Burleigh's robust voice suits his subject perfectly. He conveys immediacy and excitement by writing in the present tense and makes Bellows interesting and familiar without presuming prior knowledge. Archival photographs complement the reproductions of Bellows' works in illustrating the brief book. A fine portrait of an artist not on everyone's radar but whose work can be readily understood and appreciated by youngsters. (list of museums exhibiting Bellows' work, source notes, bibliography, illustration credits, index) (Biography. 8-12)
The New York Times
Burleigh tells Bellows's story with immediacy…and with a firm grasp of his audience, striking the right balance of broad stroke and detail…And there are handsome reproductions of Bellows's work in its many aspects, from his famous oil compositions of boxers to lesser-known charcoal streetscapes and loving portraits of his family. This impressive book captures the connection between the man and the world he observed during his short life (he died of appendicitis at 42). A new generation of young urban observers will be grateful.
—Pamela Paul
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781419701665
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2012
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 974,346
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 990L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.30 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Burleigh is a painter and the author of a number of award-winning, critically acclaimed books for children. His books include Paul Cézanne: A Painter’s Journey, Toulouse-Lautrec: The Moulin Rouge and the City of Light, and Seurat and La Grande Jatte. He lives in Grand Haven, Michigan.

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