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American & European Paintings - September 2008
 
 
painting
 
Cecil C. Bell
(American, 1906–1970)
Cooling Off: Lower East Side, c. 1941
Oil on board, 23 7/8 × 29 3/4 inches

Signed at lower center: “CECIL C. BELL”
Estate stamp on verso
RS 6290


Cecil C. Bell was born in Seattle, Washington, and attended the Art Institute of Chicago. He moved to New York in 1930 and studied at the Art Students’ League with Harry H. Wickey (1892–1968) and John Sloan (1871–1951). He supported himself by working as a commercial artist and painted mostly in watercolor and gouache until 1934, when he began to paint in oil. Bell became noted for his scenes of everyday urban life that, while influenced by Social Realism, are infused with a sense of humor. He exhibited mostly at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the National Academy of Design, and he had a number of solo exhibitions at Kraushaar Gallery in New York. Bell lived in Greenwich Village for several years and later moved to Staten Island, where he died.

According to a pencil inscription on its reverse, this painting was done “from sketches of the [19]30s” on New York City’s Lower East Side. It is reproduced in color in Phyllis Barton, Cecil C. Bell 1906–1970 (Kansas City, Mo.; McGrew Color Graphics, 1976), p. 57.


  


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