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Between and Mortarboard


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Chicago

Accession Number
2002/1.185

Title
Chicago

Artist(s)
Vernon Jirgins

Object Creation Date
circa 1950-1960

Medium & Support
watercolor on paper

Dimensions
23 9/16 in x 29 7/16 in (59.85 cm x 74.77 cm);23 1/4 in x 29 1/4 in (59.06 cm x 74.3 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of The Daniel and Harriet Fusfeld Folk Art Collection

Subject matter
A self-taught artist, Jirgins here depicts a street scene in Chicago. The details of this painting are interesting, as Jirgins has labeled most of the buildings and vehicles in the scene. His name appears on the white building and blue truck in the front left portion of the scene. Numerous train cars are labelled "Union Pacific," "US Mail" or "Railway Express", and buildings indicate their businesses, such as "Pete's bar" on the bottom of the tall building in the upper right corner.   These details show Jirgins' interest in and connection to this Chicago landscape. The careful depiction of such elements highlights the beauty Jirgins must have seen in the city.

Physical Description
This colorful watercolor shows a crowded cityscape with streets appearing in consecutive horizontal bands, each with buildings or specific types of vehicles. High-rise buildings in the background and various smaller buildings, trains, and cars move along the streets in front. Clothes-lines hang between the buildings in the background. A yellow train passes in the foreground. The artists name appears on a white vehicle near the bottom left.

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Primary Object Type
cityscape

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Chicago
automobiles
buildings
car
cityscapes (representations)
elevated trains
high-rise buildings
laundry
self-taught artists
suns
trains (vehicle groupings)
trucks

10 Related Resources

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W16 Chamberlin - ENGLISH 317 - Rust Belt Narratives
(Part of: Teaching American Studies at UMMA)
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(Part of: Teaching United States History through Art )

& Author Notes

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