Paper Workers1934 by Douglass Crockwell

Douglass Crockwell made a massive machine the focus of this image, operated by three workers. The geometric forms and dull gray colors of the men make them appear like components in the machine, and their concentration emphasizes the determination of many Americans to overcome hardships during the Depression. The suited figure on the left, however, represents the new managerial class, who controlled the men as well as the machines. His presence emphasizes the threat to hourly workers in the 1930s, as machinery grew more sophisticated and required supervisors rather than laborers.
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Media: oil on canvas