Alexander O. Levy (1881-1947), Colonial Ruins and Canal Spillway, 1931; oil on canvas, 40 1/8 x 46 7/8 inches; framed 45 x 51 5/8 x 2 inches; Gift of Linda K Wadsworth and James Wadsworth, 2017
Alexander O. Levy was a painter, illustrator, printmaker and designer, who was born in 1881 in Bonn, Germany. He moved from Cincinnati to Buffalo in 1909 to become art director for the Matthews-Northrup Company. His illustrative work, which often had an Art Deco flair, appeared in popular magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post, Saint Nicholas Magazine and The Century. An art director at the Larkin Soap Company for fifteen years, he also painted murals in the Larkin Administration Building as well as other city business offices. Levy also independently painted a wide variety of subjects, notably landscapes, carnivals, portraits, flowers, fantasies, and historical subjects. This painting represents the place where Washington crossed the Delaware River.
Levy exhibited at the Salons of America, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, and the Albright Art Gallery. He served as president of the Buffalo Society of Artists from 1933 to 1936 and played a major role as a president of the Buffalo Society for Sanity in Art, championing realistic painting in association with “The Rationalists” and the movement known as “Sanity in Art.” Their opposition to all forms of modernism prompted the creation of the Patteran Society in Buffalo in 1933. —NW