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The Avenue of Success

A work made of watercolor, with brush and brown ink, on grayish-white wove paper.

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  • A work made of watercolor, with brush and brown ink, on grayish-white wove paper.


c. 1935


George Grosz
American, born Germany, 1893-1959

About this artwork

Invited to teach in New York in 1932, George Grosz became a permanent resident in 1933. The artist created The Avenue of Success as one of 20 illustrations for a 1935 collection of short stories by the American author O. Henry. In this watercolor, Grosz depicted the story’s denouement, in which one character—fresh from cheating a tourist out of $140 and rewarding himself with a fat cigar—lectures a vagabond denizen of the park on the value of work. Viewed in light of the Great Depression, the figures represent the extremes of capitalist economics, making explicit the fact that the “avenue of success” is a two-way street.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


George Grosz


The Avenue of Success


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Watercolor, with brush and brown ink, on grayish-white wove paper


Inscribed, lower right, in graphite: Avenue of Success Inscribed, lower left, in graphite: The Av. of Suc. Graphite crop marks appear in all four corners of the sheet


67 × 49 cm (36 × 28 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Thomas Hart (Ruth Page) Fisher

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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