8 1/4 x 12 1/2 in. (21 x 31.8 cm)
George E. C. Wiggins,
Medium and Support:
Purchased with funds provided by the Art Angels
See the interpretive label written by S. Joel Garver, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy
, for the exhibition Teaching and Learning in the Art Museum: La Salle University Faculty Selections
in the online exhibition HERE
. Label for "American Scenes: WPA-Era Prints from the 1930s and 1940s", La Salle University Art Museum, March 12- May 30, 2014:
Originally from Arkansas, Wiggins attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and was awarded a prestigious Cresson scholarship for study abroad. He eventually settled in Philadelphia and worked as an illustrator for the Saturday Evening Post and other publications.
In this Social Realist depiction, Wiggins focuses on the subject of a union strike. The banner in the background, “Philadelphia Union Workers,” situates the scene in Philadelphia. Signs reading “To Hell with Charity” and “[Wo]rkers [De]mand Free […] Water and [Elect]ricity” suggest possible connections with the burst of union activity that took place around 1935, with numerous organized union strikes and the emergence of the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO). On the left, a fiery speaker stands next to an American flag, his extended arm pointing into the center of the composition; while a mounted policeman on the far right looks inwards over the crowd of protestors. In the foreground, a smiling woman appears to beg for money. Wearing an armband in support of the strike, she holds out a cup to a gentleman who reaches into his pocket for coins.
Director and Chief Curator, La Salle University Art Museum