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O. Louis Guglielmi Portrait

O. Louis Guglielmi

Also Known as: Osvaldo Luigi Guglielmi

Cairo, Egypt 1906

Amagansett, New York 1956

Active in:

  • New York, New York

Photo Caption:
Courtesy of Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.


Born in Egypt, brought to New York City in 1914. Artist who worked as a WPA muralist in the 1930s, compassionately portrayed the poor in his own paintings, but later adopted a much more abstract style.

Charles Sullivan, ed American Beauties: Women in Art and Literature (New York: Henry N. Abrams, Inc., in association with National Museum of American Art, 1993)

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

O. Louis Guglielmi came to America in 1914 and settled in Harlem. He attended the National Academy of Design, then struggled from one job to another while living with a group of artists in a ramshackle house. He worked for the Works Progress Administration during the 1930s and spent many summers in New Hampshire, where he found the peace and solitude necessary for his painting. Guglielmi’s images of city life expressed the harsh realities of the Depression, showing desolate streets and haggard people. People often viewed his work as unpatriotic, however, and one image caused controversy in 1947 when Look magazine published it with the headline: “Your Money Bought These Paintings.”