At Work: The Art of California Labor
Many Californians are aware of San Francisco's 1934 General Strike, but probably few realize to what degree labor movements shaped the state's political and social climate. Even fewer know of the copious art that both inspired and reflected California's labor struggles throughout the 20th century.
"There was a time when all the famous artists in California made art about labor," explained Mark D. Johnson, professor of art at San Francisco State University. A mid-century backlash, however, including the persecution of labor sympathizers in the McCarthy era, has all but erased from public memory the very "vast and compelling" art surrounding the labor movements, he said. Collaborating with arts, history and labor organizations, Johnson helped organize this important exhibition to recover that spirited history as well as recognize today's artists who deal with labor themes.
more than 100 recent and historical pieces, At Work: The Art of
California Labor was the first major show to survey the vast range
of California labor art in the past century. At Work's origial
debut included two collaborative exhibits, one at San Francisco State
University and the other at the California
Historical Society in January, 2004 ; a lavishly illustrated book;
and a series of lectures and special events. A series of exhibition
tours were coordinated by the California Exhibition Resources Alliance
information on ordering the catalog, see the Heyday
Labor art links-
to Docs Populi - Documents for