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Village Green

1945 John Pike Born: Boston, Massachusetts 1911 Died: Woodstock, New York 1979 oil on fiberboard 24 1/8 x 30 1/8 in. (61.4 x 76.6 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Bequest of Henry Ward Ranger through the National Academy of Design 1989.86 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 36B


Luce Center Label

Village Green shows a congested square where cars, bicycles, and horse-drawn carriages compete for space on the narrow roads. The image suggests the effects of war on the home front: a soldier in the foreground greets an elderly neighbor, a group of children play “war” in the square, a sign advertises a Red Cross blood drive, and an honor roll lists the names of local boys serving overseas. John Pike painted this image in 1945, when World War II was ending and he was posted to Asia as an artist-correspondent. The thin layers of paint, scumbled colors, and bird’s-eye view create a hazy, sentimental image that evokes a distant memory, as if recalled by someone far from home.

Keywords

Animal - horse

Architecture - vehicle - automobile

Architecture - vehicle - carriage

Figure(s) in exterior

Landscape - bird's eye view

Landscape - town

painting

paint - oil

fiberboard

About John Pike

Born: Boston, Massachusetts 1911 Died: Woodstock, New York 1979

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