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Comments Posted 09.01.13 | PERMALINK | PRINT

John Foster

Signs of Labor


The American Worker is celebrated the first Monday of September with the observance of Labor Day. It is also the day that marks the symbolic end of summer, the closing of most swimming pools, and the beginning of school for most children. Labor Day became a national holiday in 1882.

This week we look at a selection of images that personify the hard work and dedication of the American worker.

labor
Ralph Fasanella
Daily News Strike
1993
30 x 40 inches (76.2 x 101.6 cm)
oil on canvas
Andrew Edlin Gallery, NY

labor
Ralph Fasanella
Bread and Roses Textile Strike
This is a painting of the “Bread and Roses” textile workers strike in Lawrence, MA, in 1912. Many of Fasanella’s paintings are now permanently exhibited in such public places as the Smithsonian Institution, the New York City subway, Oakland International Airport, and, of course, union halls.

labor
Ralph Fasanella
Triangle Shirtwaist
This tribute to the victims of the 1910 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Manhattan is Fasanella’s vision of a typical unionized workplace.

labor
Bryan Haynes
Fence Builders
Oil on Canvas, 2011

labor
Photographer: Lewis Hine (1874-1940)
Image ID: 95226
A Steelworker from Italy (1931)
New York Public Library

labor
Photographer: Lewis Hine (1874-1940)
Image ID: 79874
Worker on Empire State building, signaling the hookman (1931)
New York Public Library

labor
Photographer: Arthur Rothstein
Paperboy, Iowa City, Iowa, USA, 1940.
Source: Library of Congress

labor
Artist/Designer: Albert M. Bender
Illinois WPA Art Project, [1941]
Poster promoting the U.S. Civilian Conservation Corps

labor
Made in America: Building a Nation, a sheet of 12 stamps honoring the men and women who helped build our country. Eleven of the 12 stamp images were taken by photographer Lewis Hine, a chronicler of early 20th-century industry. The other one is by Margaret Bourke-White.

labor
Lumbermen chopping down the giant trees of northern California, taken by Darius Kinsey early in the last century.

labor
Loggers sitting in dugout canoe which is used for transportation to and from work, unidentified logging camp, Washington, n.d.

labor
Max Kahn (1904 - ) 
Woman Ironing, 1937 
lithograph on paper, 9 by 13 inches, Edition: 24/25
Illinois State Museum Collection

labor
Rosie the Riveter
Artist: Norman Rockwell, 1943

labor
Front page of the 9-22-09 edition of the Cleveland Press, the first day of the 1919 steel strike. The image shows the public meeting of Cleveland steel workers at Brookside Park.

labor
These hand-tooled aluminum hard hats were custom-made by craftsmen in Indonesia for Americans working on oil rigs. c. 1960s -1970s.

labor
Detail of an engraved hard hat.
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John Foster and his wife, Teenuh, have been longtime collectors of self-taught art and vernacular photography. Their collection of anonymous, found snapshots has toured the country for five years and has been featured in Harper’s, Newsweek Online and others.
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