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Catalog Data

Louis Monza, born Turate, Italy 1897-died Redondo Beach, CA 1984  Search this
Franklin Delano Roosevelt  Search this
oil on canvas
26 x 32 in. (65.9 x 81.2 cm.)
Folk Art
Luce Center Label:
Louis Monza was a passionate pacifist and socialist whose dramatic paintings highlighted the brutality of war. This image shows a grim group of figures huddled together against a backdrop of war-torn buildings. The piano player represents Franklin D. Roosevelt, while the drummer is Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov, a key figure in the Bolshevik Revolution and Soviet commissar of foreign affairs in the 1940s (Josephine Gibbs, "Louis Monza, Primitive," Art Digest 18, November 1943, and Lynda Hartigan, Made with Passion, 1990). Monza's painting illustrates the uneasy alliance that brought the Second World War to an end and hints at the events that soon put these players at odds with one another.
Luce Object Quote:
"What goes in has to come out, I paint what I think and feel, whether it is good or bad. My works are my conscience and my mind." Louis Monza, "The Independent Style of a Self-taught Artist," Carol Hazard, Palos Verdes Peninsula News, April 17, 1982
Figure group  Search this
Performing arts\music\orchestra  Search this
Allegory\civic\war  Search this
Portrait male  Search this
Allegory\other\Molotov, V. M.  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson
Object number:
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Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Painting and Sculpture
On View:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 24A
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum