Molly Luce (1896-1986)

Molly Luce (1896-1986)

Molly Luce is best known for her views of small town American Life, which she imbued with gentle wit and genuine appreciation. Like other American Scene painters popular during the 1930s, she adopted a simplified style and embrace narrative content in her paintings. Luce came to New York in 1916 to study at the Art Students' League. In 1922 she left for Europe and when she returned had a solo exhibition at the Whitney Studio Club which was well received by one critic, Alan Burroughs, who enthusiastically called her an "American Bruegel" after the 17th-century Flemish painter of peasant life. 

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In 1926 Luce married Burroughs, who besides being a critic was also a paintings conservator. They traveled to Europe to examine some of the world's most important paintings. "I saw them, literally, from the inside,"1 Luce recollected. While Burroughs took a position at the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, Luce opened a one-artist exhibition at the prestigious Montross Gallery in New York in 1927. She exhibited in New York and Boston throughout the 1930s and 1940s and in 1934 the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York purchased her work Beach at High Tide

Luce Molly,"An Artist's Angle," ms., Molly Luce Collection, George ArentsResearch Library for Special Collections, Syracuse University, quoted in Molly Luce, Eight Decades of the American Scene, (Boston: Childs Gallery, 1980,) unpaginated.

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