- Associated Press - Friday, February 7, 2014

LONDON (AP) - Britain’s National Gallery has bought an American painting - described as the first major work by a U.S. artist ever added to the collection.

The National Gallery purchased “Men of the Docks,” a 1912 work by George Bellows from Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia, for $25.5 million.

The gallery says it already has a less important U.S. work, but it is rarely displayed.

Bellows, born in Columbus, Ohio in 1882, moved to New York and joined a group of young artists who were depicting the rapidly growing metropolis in all its grimy energy.

The acquisition marks a departure for the gallery as it seeks to represent paintings in the Western European tradition, not just those made by artists working in Western Europe.

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