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Town Square

ca. 1936-1939 O. Louis Guglielmi Born: Cairo, Egypt 1906 Died: Amagansett, New York 1956 oil on canvas 30 1/8 x 36 1/8 in. (76.5 x 91.7 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Transfer from the General Services Administration 1985.65.20 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 39A

Luce Center Quote

“I like to evoke the feel of a street, the unseen life hidden by blank walls, its bustle and noise, the mystery of a deserted alley.” Guglielmi, “I Hope to Sing Again,” Magazine of Art, January 1944

Luce Center Label

A single coat thrown over the back of a chair is the only evidence of people or activity in this deserted square. O. Louis Guglielmi painted completely from his imagination, believing that his inner world was just as “real” as the streets and houses outside (Miller and Barr, American Realists and Magic Realists, 1943). Many of his paintings depict families struggling to live through the Depression, but Town Square implies a later, sadder moment when there are no people left. Even the statue gazes downward, as if wondering where all the life has gone.


Architecture Exterior - civic - town hall

Architecture Exterior - commercial - hotel

Cityscape - town

Monument - statue

Object - weapon - cannon


paint - oil

fabric - canvas