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Last Updated June 22, 2021

The Sweat of Their Face: Portraying American Workers

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Address: National Portrait Gallery – Smithsonian Institution
8th and F Streets NW
Washington D.C.
DC 20001
Telephone: +1 202 633-8300

Starts: 03 November, 2017
Ends: 03 September, 2018
Opening times: Mon-Sun, 1130-1900 hrs
Genre: Documentary

“The Sweat of Their Face” combines art and social history with representations of American laborers across genres and centuries of art. Artists such as Winslow Homer, Dorothea Lange, Elizabeth Catlett and Lewis Hine depict laborers throughout the changing landscape of America; from child and slave laborers to miners, railway and steel workers, to the modern gradual disappearance of the worker. Approximately 75 objects in all media (including video) highlight a point of connection between the artists and their predominately anonymous subjects.

This exhibition features loans from such notable institutions as the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The J. Paul Getty Museum, The Phillips Collection and The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, among others.

This exhibition is curated by Portrait Gallery Curator of Painting and Sculpture Dorothy Moss and Historian Emeritus, David C. Ward. An accompanying catalogue will feature essays from both curators, as well as British art historian John Fagg.


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