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Heading for the Higher Paying Jobs

Folk and Self-Taught Art

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Heading for the Higher Paying Jobs

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Thornton Dial, Sr.
American, 1928–2016

Date

1992

Medium

Enamel and oil paints, cloth, tin, wood, and industrial sealing compound on canvas mounted on wood

Accession #

1997.55

Dimensions

Please contact the Museum for more information.

Location

Currently Not on View

Description

Here, Thornton Dial represents the historic migration of African Americans from rural to urban communities and from slavery and sharecropping to paid industrial labor. To illustrate this passage, Dial created a succession of three visual fields: a yellow cotton patch in the lower left dissolves into the blackness of underground mines, which explodes into the red-hot furnaces of steel mills. The overseer’s whip writhes across the painting, suggesting the powerlessness of the worker.

Credit

T. Marshall Hahn Collection

Image Copyright

© 2017 Estate of Thornton Dial/Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York