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Men at Work

The following collection of images is centered on the labor of men. While the vocations below vary, many of the images depict virile effort and the grunge associated with outdoor, manual labor. Despite manual labor holding less cultural capital than other forms of work, male blue-collar workers are often valorized through artistic representation. What is "men's work," and what makes it masculine? How does the celebration of muscular, physical work through art influence our understanding of the average male worker? 

Moses Oley
Worker with Mallet
1938
lithograph | paper
Allocated by the U.S. Government
Commissioned through the New Deal art projects
1943.102
Two men sitting in a space with a low ceiling, wearing miner's hats with candles inserted in them, read a newspaper with headlines describing the Titanic catastrophe. A pick axe is leaning against the wall beside the man on the right.
John Sloan
News of the Titanic
1912
crayon, ink, graphite | paper
Museum Purchase
1964/1.107
Portrait of a man holding a hoe, wearing soiled campesino clothing. He sits in front of a stone wall, looking out of frame. 
Paul Strand
Man with a Hoe, Los Remedios
1933
photogravure | paper
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Philip C. Davis through the Friends of the Museum of Art
1971/2.126.11
Heinrich Aldegrever
The Labors of Hercules: The Nemean Lion (one of the set of 13 prints)
1550
engraving | paper
Museum Purchase
1956/1.62
Laton Alton Huffman
Saddling the Wild Horse
1894
colotype print | paper
Gift of Dr. & Mrs. Michael Fauman

1983/2.62
Lawren Harris
Good bye, Dad, I'm off to fight for Old Glory, you buy U.S. gov't bonds Third Liberty Loan
1917 – 1919
color lithograph | paper
Gift of Mr. Maurice F. Lyons
1954/2.35.47
The color screenprint depicts four dark skinned figures walking past a construction site—likely a family. The man is dressed in a black suit, black shoes, yellow tie, and tan hat. The woman wears a red and white dress, yellow jacket, and red cap. The little girl stands to the left of mother, holding her hand. She wears a yellow dress, white tights, brown shoes, and a red cap. A small boy wears brown pants, tan shoes, a yellow shirt, and blue jacket. He stands to the right of the father and holds his hand.  <br /><br />
In the background, there are three men working at the construction site. There are two men in blue jumpsuits, one has dark skin and the other white. A third dark skinned man wears a gray jumpsuit and holds a saw. The print is signed and dated (l.r.) "Jacob Lawrence 1974" in pencil.
Jacob Lawrence
Builders (The Family)
1974
screenprint | paper
Gift of Dr. James and Vivian Curtis
1997/1.532
A photograph of a man lying on a blanket in the grass, a pack of cigarettes beside him. He wears a white t-shirt and a band around his wrist. He pulls a string taught between his fingers, while looking into the camera lens. 
Danny Lyon
Cal, Springfield, Illinois
1966
gelatin silver print | paper
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James Agah, Class of 1989 (BBA)
2014/2.299
Street pavers setting a road in Paris.
Eugène Atget
Street Paver
1899 – 1974
gold-toned gelatin silver print | paper
Museum Purchase
1974/1.116
Railroad with a man swinging a tool over his head. There is a bucket to the side of him, telephone poles behind.
D. James Galbraith
Gandy Dancer, Brighton, Michigan
1973
vintage gelatin silver print | paper, laid down on board
Gift from the D. James Galbraith Family
2014/2.229
John E. Sheridan
Rivets are Bayonets - Drive Them Home!
1912 – 1922
color lithograph | paper
Gift of Mr. Maurice F. Lyons
1954/2.35.87
David Alfaro Siqueiros
Workman
1936
lithograph | paper
Gift of Jean Paul Slusser
1948/1.25

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59 Collection Object Sources

Street Paver (1974/1.116)
Workman (1948/1.25)
Axman (1935.3)
Fish Day (1943.93)
Clothes Shop (1943.82)
Railroaders (1943.126)
Cradling Wheat (1980/2.170)
Farm Machine (2008/2.348)
Chow (1935.4)
Michigan Worker (2004/1.153)
Farmers, Michigan (2014/2.240)
The Committee (2004/2.56)
The Speaker (2004/2.75)
Sweatshop (1935.25)
New York City (1981/2.65.5)
Fair Portraits (2016/2.134)
Shoemaker (1981/2.7)
Faucheurs, Somme (1974/1.122)
Gerichtdiener (2012/2.105)
Service (2004/2.100)
Lackarbeiter (1975/2.97)
Drummer (1943.5)
Ten Builders (2000/2.126)
River Junkmen (1972/2.36)

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Last Updated

January 11, 2019 9:52 p.m.

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