George Benjamin Luks

 

Artist Biography:

George Benjamin Luks was born in a coal-mining region of north-central Pennsylvania in 1867. Luks studied first at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, and later in Germany, London, and Paris. Returning to the United States in 1894, he became an illustrator for the Philadelphia Press. Luks went to Cuba in 1895 as a correspondent artist for the Philadelphia Bulletin during the Cuban struggle for independence from Spain. After returning to the United States, he worked as a cartoonist, drawing the popular Hogan’s Alley for the New York World. Between 1902 and 1903 Luks lived in Paris, where he became increasingly preoccupied with the depiction of modern city life. When he returned to New York City, he began to paint realistic pictures of New Yorkers. In 1908, Luks formed a group called The Eight, whose exhibition in New York that year marked a key event in the history of modern painting in the United States. After this event, Luks received the support of art dealers and patrons. He and the other members of The Eight were eventually absorbed into a larger group of artists known as the Ashcan school, which continued the exploration of modern, urban realities. After teaching at the Art Students League from 1920 to 1924, Luks opened his own art school. He died in 1933 in New York.

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