Chain Gang

Benton_Chain Gang.jpg

Dublin Core

Title

Chain Gang

Description

Labor is one of the most prevalent themes in Regionalist art, and in art of the American South. In its more common form, such artistic treatments of Southern labor reflect a Romantic atmosphere of untroubled simplicity associated with agrarian subsistence life. This notion, with its dignified overtones, becomes skewed, however, when seen by Thomas Hart Benton in this field sketch of African American prisoners conducting forced labor under the supervision of an armed white guard. This is an excellent example of how Benton’s particular skill in selecting a singular moment in time resulted in artworks which often blur the line between objective documentation and social commentary. The subject of chain gang workers, with its rhythmic movement and fluid, earth-toned color scheme, appears in several other compositions by the artist.

Creator

Thomas Hart Benton

Source

2014.1.4

Date

1928

Rights

Wright Collection of Southern Art

Coverage

American, 1889-1975

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

graphite and ink on paper

Item Relations

This item has no relations.