Amon Carter print details

Steel Mill

Lewis Rubenstein (1908-2003)

Object Details

  • Date


  • Medium

    Opaque watercolor on paperboard

  • Dimensions

    Image: 16 1/16 x 10 1/16 in.
    Sheet: 20 x 12 1/4 in.

  • Inscriptions


    l.r. in opaque watercolor: LWR / 33


    u.l. in graphite: Steel Mill

    c.r. handwritten in ink: L. W. Rubenstein / 10/33

    l.r. in graphite: 150 / 300

  • Collection Name

    American Labor Prints Collection

  • Credit Line

    Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

  • Accession Number


  • Copyright

    © Estate of Lewis Rubenstein

Object Description

During the Great Depression, Rubenstein created artworks that valorize American industrial labor. In this watercolor, inspired by steel mills in the manufacturing town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, he situates four workers within a complex array of pipes, cranes, and smokestacks. Amid this machinery, their bodies appear larger than life. If the man in blue were to stand upright, he would tower over the vat of molten steel below him, a visual dynamic that asserts the prominence and importance of labor.

At the time that Rubenstein completed Steel Mill, he was coming of age politically. In 1932, he attended a “hunger march” in Washington, DC, to protest inadequate government aid for unemployed workers. The experience was galvanizing for the young artist, who had recently attended Harvard University. He went on to create largescale murals that portray the contributions of American industrial workers as well as the injustices they often face.

—Text taken from the Carter Handbook (2023)

Additional details

Location: Off view
See more by Lewis Rubenstein


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