The Return HomeArtist(s)Abram TromkaObject Creation Date1939Medium & Supportoil on canvasDimensions
24 3/8 x 29 3/8 in. (61.9 x 74.6 cm);32 13/16 x 37 13/16 x 2 1/16 in. (83.19 x 95.89 x 5.1 cm)Credit LineGift of Dr. and Mrs. Arnold S. MontoLabel copy
Tromka was one of the over 3,600 artists who survived the bleak years of the Great Depression with assistance from the New Deal’s Federal Art Project (1935–43), an agency which matched hard-hit artists with public works assignments throughout the nation. The themes expressed by most of these artists tended toward social realism, a naturalistic style concerned with subject matter of social import, such as urban life, industry, or agricultural work.
Though Tromka worked as a Federal Art Project artist during the Depression, he did not have to participate out of economic necessity; as an established artist, he was invited in order to lend prestige to the endeavor. It was during this period that he created "The Return Home," which shows a man with a sack on his back returning to his village in a half-rural, half-industrial landscape, possibly representing the coal fields of Pennsylvania. This painting complements the Museum’s Niles Spencer painting of an industrial landscape ("In the Town," 1930), and relates well to the Museum’s large holdings of prints by artists who worked for the Federal Art Project and Works Progress Administration, a program to employ the jobless in public projects.
(A. Dixon, 20th Century Gallery installation, June 1999)Primary Object ClassificationPaintingCollection AreaModern and ContemporaryRights
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modern and contemporary art