Alex Topp (Topchevsky)

American, 1911 - 1999

Study for "Have and Have Nots"
Watercolor and pencil on paper
14 x 17 inches (framed 19 x 25 inches)

Note that the begging figure depicted in "Have and Have Nots" is the artist himself, Alex Topp. This watercolor is a preliminary study for a larger oil painting by the artist of the same title.


Alex Topp was born in Chicago, where he studied at the Hull House under his older brother, noted artist Morris Topchevsky. He earned his MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. Alex Topp worked for the WPA as an easel painter and executed murals for multiple government buildings. He traveled and painted in Mexico, Central America and Europe and is known for his social realist works from the 1930s and 1940s. Topp has exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Brooklyn Museum and his work is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institute as well as the Library of Congress.

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