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Prints, 20th Century

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Cement Finishers

20th Century
10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.3 cm)

Leon Gilmour, Latvian Russian American, (1907–1996)

Object Type: PRINTS
Medium and Support: Woodcut
Accession Number: 85-G-1338
Label for "American Scenes: WPA-Era Prints from the 1930s and 1940s", La Salle University Art Museum, March 12- May 30, 2014:

Gilmour immigrated to the United States in 1916 at the age of nine. Born in Riga, Russia, Gilmour pursued artistic training during his brief stay in Boston at the School of Practical Art. To support himself, he worked in a variety of capacities, including as a truck driver, construction worker and field hand. Upon moving to the west coast, Gilmour studied at the Otis Art Institute under Paul Landacre, who is often credited with elevat­ing wood engraving to an art form. As a result of his own experience with menial labor, Gilmour produced numerous prints glorifying the strength and resilience of workers. During this period of rampant unemployment in the 1930s, images of productivity were intended to be received as symbols of optimism. Moreover, under the WPA/FAP, artists themselves were considered skilled labor, therefore allying them with the monumental ve­hicles of industry pictured here.

Miranda Clark-Binder
Curator of Education and Public Programs, La Salle University Art Museum
Current Location: Storage : Works on Paper : 14x18 : 3.3.65


American Scenes: WPA-Era Prints from the 1930s and 1940s, Curated by Klare Scarborough and Carmen Vendelin, La Salle University Art Museum, March 12- May 30, 2014.


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