George Luks, Working-Class Artist

Luks' 1899 cartoon "The menace of the Hour" about "The Traction Monster" following the awarding of a no bid subway franchise contract by New York City's Tammany Hall. By George Luks - The Verdict (magazine), 1899-01-30. http://www.ctrl.org/boodleboys/TheMenaceofthe%20hour.htmlhttp://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/pds/gilded/power/text1/octopusimages.pdf, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10575542
Luks’ 1899 cartoon “The menace of the Hour” about “The Traction Monster” following the awarding of a no bid subway franchise contract by New York City’s Tammany Hall. By George Luks – The Verdict (magazine), 1899-01-30. http://www.ctrl.org/boodleboys/TheMenaceofthe%20hour.htmlhttp://nationalhumanitiescenter.org/pds/gilded/power/text1/octopusimages.pdf, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10575542

There was a drug store in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania that plays prominently in my novel, ANYWHERE BUT SCHUYLKILL. It was run by a Polish immigrant known as Doc Luks. He was sympathetic to the miners and would often provide medicine and treatment for free during strikes, when the workers had no money to pay him.

George Luks – The Breaker Boys, ca. 1925, Huntington Library. By George Luks – The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26010842

His son, George Luks, became a successful artist, of the Ashcan School, a politically rebellious art movement that was influenced by Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,” and which portrayed the everyday lives of working class people and immigrants. Luks’s art, in particular, was influenced by the poverty and oppression suffered by the miners he grew up with.  

Coal Miners, by George Benjamin Luks, gouache on paper laid on board, ca 1925. Public Domain,

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