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The University of Arizona Museum of Art and Archive of Visual Arts

Joseph Delaney

Joseph Delaney, Saint Bleecker (also His Last Address), 1937

Joseph Delaney (American, 1904-1991)
Saint Bleecker (also His Last Address) 1937
Oil on canvas
Gift of C. Leonard Pfeiffer
1945.009.008

No longer the sole privilege of wealthy society, artists created portraits of everyday people as a way to call attention to the plight of individuals. Saint Bleecker depicts an elderly man who appears to have fallen on hard times, likely a result of the Great Depression.

The church on the right resembles Our Lady of Pompeii, located in Greenwich Village where Delaney lived. Does the church offer this man a symbol of hope despite his suffering in life? Or, is the artist questioning the role of faith in a time of hardship for the nation?