- Museum number
- Object: Business-men's bath
Group of nude men showering and bathing. 1923
Lithograph, on oriental paper
- Production date
Height: 300 millimetres
Width: 432 millimetres
- 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.
- Not on display
- 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
2016 -2017 21 Oct - 22 Jan, The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham UK, Bellows and the Body
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number