Study of a Man's Head for "History of California"

Accession Number

Study of a Man's Head for "History of California"

Anton Refregier

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
circa 1940

Medium & Support
graphite on paper

16 3/4 in x 13 15/16 in (42.55 cm x 35.4 cm)

Subject matter
This study for the History of California, also called History of San Francisco mural (1948, Rincon Annex Post Office), shows a quarry worker, possibly of Chinese descent. In the completed mural, produced under the auspices of the Workers Progress Administration (WPA), the man depicted in this study is one of the central figures working to move a large bolder in the quarry. The large cycle of murals, twenty-seven in total, shows various subjects from scenes of generic workers to episodes of recent historical events in and around San Francisco. The study is typical of Refregier's work and the American Social Realist styling, influenced by the Mexican Muralists. 

Physical Description
This drawing shows the head of a man. Sketched lines with shading around cheeks and eyes, which are closed, create the visage.  A faintly visible hat is sketched on the head. The drawing is signed (u.r.) "Anton Refregier." It may also say "San Francisco" although the handwriting is not clear.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Additional Object Classification(s)

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

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New Deal
heads (representations)
men (male humans)
migrant workers
mural painting (image-making)
social realism
studies (visual works)

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& Author Notes

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