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Labor Disputes


by Thomas Hart Benton

Made while working for the  Associated American Artists (AAA), Benton’s Strike is a heroic depiction of mine workers on strike, bravely confronting the faceless militia firing on them. 

Strike is based on the drawings Benton did during the summer of 1928 while touring coal mines in West Virginia.

Benton had a long history of sympathy for common workers, and was involved in several leftist political groups until the 1930s.  However, this lithograph is not a simple, compassionate portrait of miners – the figure running away from the conflict on the right side complicates the scene with his cowardliness, and heightens its realism. 

(Ill. Of Ed.118, Pohl 18-19)

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Thomas Hart Benton - Strike

Thomas Hart Benton, Strike, 1933/34 (Pohl), 1935 (Ill. of Ed).  Lithograph, 9 ⅝ x 10 ¾ in.

Museum Purchase, Derby Fund, from the Philip J. and Suzanne Schiller Collection of American Social Commentary Art 1930-1970

Within Labor Disputes...
Paul Cadmus Hugo Gellert Thomas Hart Benton Lynd Ward

Rural Poverty Urban Poverty Anti-Poverty Efforts Fall Short Labor Disputes

Ida Abelman
Thomas Hart Benton
Lucienne Bloch
Harry Brodsky
Paul Cadmus
Francis Chapin
Jack Delano
Phillip Evergood
George Gilbert
Hugo Gellert
Joseph Hirsch
Irwan Hoffman
Morris Huberland
Meritt Mauzey
Elizabeth Olds
Walter Quirt
Moses Soyer
Raphael Soyer
Lynd Ward

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