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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
lithograph on paper
16 ¼ in x 12 ¼ in (41.28 cm x 31.12 cm);16 ¼ in x 12 ¼ in (41.28 cm x 31.12 cm)
Allocated by the U.S. Government Commissioned through the New Deal art projects
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
crayon, ink and graphite on paper
14 3/16 in x 18 9/16 in (36.04 cm x 47.15 cm);22 1/8 in x 28 1/8 in (56.2 cm x 71.44 cm)
Museum Purchase
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
photogravure on paper
15 3/4 in x 12 3/8 in (40.01 cm x 31.43 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Philip C. Davis through the Friends of the Museum of Art
Heinrich Aldegrever
The Labors of Hercules: The Nemean Lion (one of the set of 13 prints)
engraving on paper
3 3/4 x 2 11/16 in. (9.4 x 6.8 cm);22 3/16 x 18 3/16 in. (56.2 x 46.04 cm)
Museum Purchase
Laton Alton Huffman
Saddling the Wild Horse
colotype print on paper
9 15/16 in. x 7 15/16 in. ( 25.2 cm x 20.2 cm )
Gift of Dr. & Mrs. Michael Fauman
Lawren Harris
Good bye, Dad, I'm off to fight for Old Glory, you buy U.S. gov't bonds Third Liberty Loan
color lithograph on paper
29 15/16 x 20 1/8 in. (76 x 51 cm)
Gift of Mr. Maurice F. Lyons
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)
screenprint on paper
34 in x 25 3/4 in (86.36 cm x 65.41 cm);29 15/16 in x 22 1/8 in (76.04 cm x 56.2 cm);38 3/4 in x 28 in (98.43 cm x 71.12 cm)
Gift of Dr. James and Vivian Curtis
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
gelatin silver print on paper
11 in x 14 in (27.94 cm x 35.56 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James Agah, Class of 1989 (BBA)
Street pavers setting a road in Paris.
Eugène Atget
Street Paver
gold-toned gelatin silver print on paper
10 in x 13 in (25.4 cm x 33.02 cm)
Museum Purchase
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
vintage gelatin silver print on paper, laid down on board
14 x 11 in. ( 35.56 x 27.94 cm )
Gift from the D. James Galbraith Family
John E. Sheridan
Rivets are Bayonets - Drive Them Home!
color lithograph on paper
38 1/4 x 25 in. (97 x 63.5 cm)
Gift of Mr. Maurice F. Lyons
David Alfaro Siqueiros
Workman
lithograph on paper
11 ⅞ in x 8 ¾ in (30.16 cm x 22.23 cm);22 ⅛ in x 18 in (56.2 cm x 45.72 cm);15 4/5 in x 11 7/16 in (40.16 cm x 29.05 cm)
Gift of Jean Paul Slusser

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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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