Houston Street by George Luks (1917). Saint Louis Museum of Art. Photo via Wikimedia Commons [Public domain].
George Luks (1866-1933) was an American social realist painter. He is known best for his images of New York City, specifically its working-class and immigrant neighborhoods, and his energetic style seems to suit these scenes’ vibrancy perfectly. He also studied and painted in Europe. Along with fellow American painters of urban life, Luks was part of the so-called Ashcan School that stood against academic traditions of the time. Houston Street, characteristic of Luks’s usual style and subject matter, depicts street vendors in lower Manhattan.