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Alexander Kruse (1890 – 1972)

Here Comes the Bride, 1918, oil on canvas mounted on board, 20 x 28 inches, signed lower left, signed, titled and dated verso; possibly exhibited at Kruse’s solo exhibition at Findlay Galleries, New York, NY, April 22 through May 10, 1941 (see Corby, Jane, Artist Kruse Invests His Scenes with a Very Familiar Atmosphere, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 16, 1941, “When he isn’t painting shore vistas or farmlands in New Jersey or winding roads in the Westchester hills or camps in the Maine woods he turns to city dwellers, for such pictures as ‘Here Comes the Bride,’ which shows a bride who might be any bride in any city in the country, leaving the church and making her way with her bridegroom through the smiling men and women and children crowding close around the steps.”) Note: this is likely the first version of the painting of the same title that Kruse entered in the Spring Salon of the Salons of America at the Anderson Galleries, New York, NY, in 1930. It is not known whether this work or the work from the Salons of America is the version included in Kruse’s Findley Gallery’s solo 1941 exhibition.


About the Painting

Here Comes the Bride is a prime example of Alexander Kruse’s brand of New York Ashcan School painting. Kruse was deeply influenced by his instructors at the Art Students League, including John Sloan and George Luks. Here Comes the Bride is a crowded multi-figure slice of life and a study in fashion and various “types” of people that one would encounter in the city. Unlike many Ashcan School painters, Kruse’s compositions tend to be more positive and optimistic, as in this work with its smiling bride, overflowing bouquet of flowers and adoring well-wishers. Kruse was fond of this subject. He completed at least two versions, this being the first.

About the Artist

Alexander Zerdin Kruse was a New York painter, print maker, writer, critic, and lecturer, who was an important tastemaker during the 1930s and 1940s. A native New Yorker born and raised on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Kruse trained at the Educational Alliance, the National Academy of Design, and at the Art Students League with McBride, Carlsen, Sloan, Luks, and Henri. From the last three of these teachers, Kruse picked up a distinctly Ashcan School aesthetic to his urban genre paintings which depict common New Yorkers as Kruse saw them. Like many first-generation New York artists of his generation, Kruse was a left-leaning progressive and follower of Samuel Gompers, Eugene Debs and Emma Goldman. As an artist, Kruse exhibited widely at the Society of Independent Artists, the Salons of America, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art among many others. His gallery representation included the Grand Central Art Gallery, Dudensing Gallery, Findlay Galleries and Weyhe Gallery. Kruse worked for the New Deal’s Federal Art Project during the Great Depression. As a writer, Kruse served as an editor of The New Masses and was the art critic for The Brooklyn Daily Eagle from 1938 through 1946. He also wrote a column for The New York Post and several how-to art books, which sold over 150,000 copies. Kruse taught art most of his life, starting at the Art Students League while he was still a student, at the art school of the Brooklyn Museum, at the Riverside Museum, the YMCA and the Artists and Illustrators School. Later in life, Kruse moved to Southern California where he had several solo exhibitions. Kruse is listed in Who Was Who in American Art and other standard references.


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