Lucille Corcos (1908 - 1973)
End of Summer, 1942
gouache on paper
15 x 21 3/4 inches
Signed at lower right: Corcos 42
Grand Central Galleries, New York, New York
Beacon Hill Fine Art, New York
F.B. Horowitz Fine Art, Hopkins, Minnesota
James Cox Gallery, Woodstock, New York
Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, Kansas, The Neglected Generation of American Realist Painters 1930-1948, 1981
Urban Research Art Center, New York, New York, The World Through Nature’s Eyes, n.d., catalogue no.22
The College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1995
Lucille Corcos cultivated a delightfully naïve style in her painting, though she was fully trained in the academic tradition. Considered a “modern primitivist”, Corcos painted works full of whimsy, bright color and humor. She was a master of anecdotal detail, filling her panoramic scenes with charming details that encourage close viewing and appreciation.
Corcos was born in New York in 1908, and began designing certificates to celebrate important events for her father’s synagogue. She studied at the Arts Student League with Jan Matulka, who also worked in a deliberately naïve manner. Corcos began her professional career designing magazine covers for Vanity Fair magazine in 1928, and soon illustrated books for both children and adults. Her charming illustrations soon became classics.
By the mid-1930s, Corcos was exhibiting widely, and she showed often in the Whitney Biennial. Her work was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the British Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Academy of Design, and many other museums in the 1940s. Later in life she exhibited at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. She traveled extensively throughout Europe and South America and created a mural at Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, which is still on view. She maintained her very personal style throughout her career.
In End of Summer, Corcos has created an immensely appealing image of farming and family life. Corcos sets her scene in a verdant valley, a white farm house the bustling center of women making jam out of table grapes. A little girl sorts baskets of grapes in the foreground, a dog happily chewing apples beside her. A cat laps milk on the porch, another girl reaches for grapes from a ladder, and the lintel of the house is lined with jars of jam. Of in the background, a man picks apples from laden trees. There is a mood of contentment and competence in this painting, a mood cultivated by the bright palette, bustling activity and evident abundance of the landscape.