Town Square

Media - 1985.65.20 - SAAM-1985.65.20_1 - 53906
Copied O. Louis Guglielmi, Town Square, ca. 1936-1939, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the General Services Administration, 1985.65.20

Artwork Details

Town Square
ca. 1936-1939
30 1836 18 in. (76.591.7 cm.)
Credit Line
Transfer from the General Services Administration
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Object — weapon — cannon
  • Architecture Exterior — civic — town hall
  • Monument — statue
  • Architecture Exterior — commercial — hotel
  • Cityscape — town
Object Number

Artwork Description

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.

Luce Object 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