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Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Painting: 20th century: Jacobia Hotel
Jacobia Hotel

Jacobia Hotel
William H. Johnson
oil on canvas
19 7/8 x 23 3/4 in. (50.5 x 60.4 cm.)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Harmon Foundation

This painting shows an old hotel in Florence, South Carolina, that was once a fashionable destination for visitors coming through by train. In the 1930s the Jacobia had fallen into disrepair and was used as a brothel. William H. Johnson painted this scene in the expressionist style that he had adopted while in Europe, exaggerating the crooked walls and sloping floors so that the structure appears ready to collapse.

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