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Sidewalk Merchant

circa 1940
20th century
91.5 cm x 115.9 cm (36 in. x 45 5/8 in.)

Kenneth Hayes Miller (Oneida, New York, 1876 - 1952, New York City) Primary

Object Type: painting
Artist Nationality: North America, American
Medium and Support: Oil on plywood
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Mari and James A. Michener, 1991
Accession Number: 1991.275

Muselike women in stylish hats, coats, and furs grace the street outside Kenneth Hayes Miller's studio. The Fourteenth Street studio was the center of the social realist painters of New York's art world, including Isabel Bishop, Moses and Raphael Soyer, and Reginald Marsh, all students of Miller at the Art Students League. The Fourteenth Street School depicted the urban social world, such as this everyday shopping spree.
Miller's interest in social realism developed after World War I when he began to move away from the dreamlike images of his early work to try to capture the realities of daily life in the city. Sidewalk Merchant is one of Miller's most ambitious canvases, a work he began in 1932 and returned to sixteen years later to recompose and repaint.

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