On November 11, a free admission, world class art museum, opened in, of all places, Bentonville, Arkansas. We visited May 19, 2012. Founded by billionaire Walmart heiress, Alice Walton, the museum ranks at least in the top half dozen American Art Museums, according to art historian John Wilmerding.
From Crystal Bridges eMuseum:
Title: Day Shift
Artist: Francis Criss, British, 1901 – 1973
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 38 x 29 in. (96.5 x 73.7 cm) Framed: 47 1/8 × 38 1/8 × 2 3/8 in.
Label Text: Day Shift was commissioned by Abbott Laboratories to boost the country’s morale during World War II. The painting was reproduced as a World War II propaganda poster in 1945, and mailed to doctors’ offices to encourage the buying of war bonds. Commissioned artists were encouraged to depict subjects related to the war effort, and Francis Criss, who was raised in Philadelphia and studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, likely selected Pennsylvania’s steel mills for his painting. Day Shift addresses the important role of women in the workforce during World War II. The young woman operates a metal lathe, used for turning and contouring metal pieces, and a caliper to measure the outside diameter of the metal pipe. It seems Criss combined different scenes of the steel factory for his composition, indicated by the large conveyor belt and the open view of the factory buildings located directly behind the woman’s back. The precise, hard-edge rendering of the architecture and machinery evoke the precisionist works for which Criss was well-known.