Bum Alley – Painted for fun and exhibited at the Chicago Galleries Association in 1951. Grell described the project as follows in a letter home to his sister Helen dated March 6, 1951:
“For the coming exhibition at the Chicago Galleries I have just finished a painting called Bum Alley. A picture of a group of vagabonds playing cards on an old box in an alley. There are so many of these bums always at my door for a handout and I used various types for the composition. It was fun painting it and I may say I think it turned out pretty good.”
Grell was 63 when he painted this picture. He remembered their faces and painted them into the Chicago alley scene that he created.
Bum Alley: oil on canvas, 1951 signed LOUIS GRELL lower left 36.5″ x 30.33″