This exhibition demonstrates the fascination artists have had in depicting aspects of industry in the United States. Since the early 19th century, American artists have taken the buildings and factories in which raw materials are processed to manufacture goods as their subject. Some artists portrayed these buildings in optimistic and idealized ways as symbols of prosperity, while others show factories in a more critical light, reflecting on factories’ dehumanization and environmental impact.
Image: Robert Riggs, American, 1896–1970. Limestone Kilns, Wyandotte Chemical Company, Michigan, ca. 1947–48. Tempera on panel. 21 3/4 x 26 1/2 inches. Museum purchase with funds from an anonymous donor in honor of Barbara and the late Bruce Mackey, 2011.322