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Rural Home Front

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Rural Home Front

Artist: Robert Gwathmey (American, 1903 - 1988)

Date: 1943
Medium: Serigraph on paper
Overall: 16 x 21 1/2in. (40.6 x 54.6cm)
Signed: Upper left: 'Gwathmey'
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object number: 44.5
Label Text
Charles Gwathmey presented an episodic picture of poor farm life, with interior and exterior scenes together as one. The adults are both African-American and white. They seem old and weathered and engage in back-breaking labor to provide for three children, a boy and a girl playing in the dirt outside, and an infant son resting on the quilt-covered bed at the center of the composition and the center of the family’s life. The young man of the family – the father or the oldest son – is away at war, which we know because of the blue star in the window. If the star were gold, the soldier would have been killed in action.
Interestingly, Gwathmey also shows, at far right, that rural men and women left the farm for better-paying factory jobs that supported the war effort.

Mary E. Murray

Presumed copyright: the artist or the artist's representative/heir(s).