nonfiction nuggets…a knock-out artist!

george bellows painter with a punch cover imageGeorge Bellows: Painter with a Punch!, by Robert Burleigh
published 2012 by Abrams Books for Young Readers

Recently, I read in the news that the National Gallery in London had just acquired its first ever painting by an American artist. I admit I didn’t know that they’d never housed any American art before. The painting they bought, for over 25 million dollars, was this one:

george bellows men of the docks

Men of the Docks, painted in 1912 by George Bellows.

George Bellows is an unusual artist, and he might be just the right fellow to kindle an interest in children who don’t particularly fancy water lilies or a mysterious, coyly-smiling lady.

He was a first-rate athlete who played semi-pro baseball to earn some extra cash.
1910 catcher's mitt

His most famous painting is of a boxing match in Sharkey’s Saloon.

1909_Stag_at_Sharkey's by George Bellows

New York City, with its rough, crowded tenements, boys swimming in the East River, alleyways, and construction workers, were the subjects George loved to paint.


Robert Burleigh guides us through Bellows’ childhood, his decision to

George Bellows

George Bellows


pursue art, and his growth as an artist until he was “one of the most highly regarded young artists in America.” His sudden death at age 42 ended an extraordinarily promising career.

Engaging writing and beautiful color reproductions will introduce kids ages 7 and up to this artist and help them appreciate his art. A list of museums where you can see Bellows’ work is included and wow! it’s hanging in 25 states plus Washington, D.C. and Toronto. Lots of access to these handsome, gritty paintings.