What just happened?

To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by


Business-men's bath

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Business-men's bath
  • Description

    Group of nude men showering and bathing. 1923 Lithograph, on oriental paper

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1923
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 300 millimetres
    • Width: 432 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Signed on stone. Signed and titled in pencil. Countersigned by the printer "Bolton Brown - imp" in pencil.
  • Curator's comments

    Text from Stephen Coppel, 'The American Scene: Prints from Hopper to Pollock', with the assistance of Jerzy Kierkuc-Bielinski, BMP, 2008, no. 16.

    When Bellows first arrived in New York in 1904 he stayed at the YMCA, and this print is a recollection of his initial experiences of the city almost twenty earlier. The subject is a humorous reworking in reverse of the composition of an earlier lithograph, The Shower-Bath (Mason 45) of 1917.

    The pose of the young man in the foreground, with hand on hip and one leg raised, is taken from Eakins's painting The Swimming Hole, 1885 (Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth). Unlike Eakins's static treatment, Bellows imbues his figures with a naturalistic dynamism, from the young man poised to dive into the crowded pool to the surfacing figure, bottom right, gasping for breath. In perhaps a comment on his ageing body, Bellows contrasts the younger athletic bodies with the bulkier frame of the older men. The figure of the heavy-set man, foreground left, is posed to ironically evoke the Farnese Hercules (Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples), the famous classical image of masculine strength. Through glance and gesture, Bellows sets up a relationship between this figure and the boy whispering to the older man in the background, who both turn towards him.

    This impression is countersigned by Bolton Brown, the highly skilled printer of artistic lithography with whom Bellows collaborated closely from 1919.


  • Bibliography

    • Mason 145 bibliographic details
  • Location

    American XXc Mounted Imp

  • Exhibition history

    1980 Jan-May, BM, American Prints 1879-1979, cat. no.58
    1983 May-Jun, Sheffield, City Art Gallery, 'American Prints'
    1983 Jun-Sep, Manchester, Whitworth Gallery, 'American Prints'
    1983 Sep-Dec, Belfast, Ulster Museum, 'American Prints'
    2008 April-Sep, BM, The American Scene, cat. no.16
    2009 Sep-Dec, Manchester, Whitworth AG, The American Scene

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: PPA8023

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help