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Art and the working class
The portrayal of workers and labour in art and the media have far-reaching implications on how that work and experience is understood and remembered. Recording the working class experience in art acknowledges the work portrayed as important, and recognizes the experience of workers. This is a small sample of the art and film produced on labour.
Online Labour Art Archives
Workers Arts and Heritage Centre
The mandate of the WAHC is to preserve and promote the culture and history of working people, particularly from a Canadian perspective. The website features links to a growing number of exhibits, collections and resources.
This archive of American labour art can be browsed by type of art (poster, photography, cartoons, songs, etc.) as well as by topic, theme and time period. Each piece is accompanied by a brief description as well as related links.
Isadore Posoff , 1937. Mining was a major indusrtry in Pennsylvania, where workers were among the first to organize.
Labour movements have often been an inspiration for artists, who are typically sympathetic to workers and their struggles. In this installment, Gene Gable looks at the graphics of the American labour movement and explores why the country celebrates Labour Day with barbecues and trips to the mall.
Jacob Burck, The Lord Provides, 1934, Lithograph. This is one of the items in this collection.
Life of the People: The Labour Movement in Prints and Drawings
This online gallery provides a look at American working history through works of art. Each piece is accompanied by a brief description and background information.
Michael Siporin, 1937, Worker's Family, Woodcut. One of the items in this collection.
A collection of 1937 Woodcuts by American artists. A permanent exhibition of Oakton Community College, Ray Hartstein Campus, Skokie.
Diego Rivera, from Detroit Industry (1932)
Copyright © The Detroit Institute of Arts
A large collection of Depression-era artwork from artists such as Diego Rivera, Robert Minor, Edward Hopper, Mable Dwight, and Hugo Gellert.