MORRIS MUSEUM OF ART PERMANENT COLLECTION

"Bargain Basement" by Lamar Dodd

Lamar Dodd (1909–1996)
Bargain Basement
1937
Oil on canvas
46 x 55 inches
Museum purchase; 1992.033

This painting, often hailed as one of Dodd's masterpieces, was painted during the artist's brief residency in Birmingham, Alabama. The painting depicts the bottom floor of Pizitz Department Store, formerly located on 20th Street. Dodd had in mind Silvia Pizitz, one of the daughters of the store's founder, when he painted the blonde woman on the far left.

The subject matter of this painting suggests the influence of American Scene painting on Dodd's work. American Scene artists, who worked in the 1920s and 1930s, depicted aspects of American life in a naturalistic and descriptive way. Dodd was one of Georgia's best known American Scene painters and a strong proponent for painting Southern subject matter.