Day Shift

Day Shift by Francis Criss, British, 1943 - Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art - Bentonville, ArkansasDay Shift by Francis Criss, British, 1943
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Bentonville, Arkansas

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

Date: 1943

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.

america, american history, arkansas, art, history, museum, pennsylvania, places, war, work

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Alan G Jun 28, 2015

    Excellent photograph! Given lighting conditions, photographing art work can often be very difficult as I am sure you are well aware.

    Your post also answered another question I had regarding Crystal Bridges and their art. Some art museums don’t allow photographing of paintings so that is good to know.
    Alan G recently posted…Are Joe and Walter actually related?My Profile

    • Mike Jun 28, 2015


      When we were there, the only place you could photograph was in the special visiting exhibits, which also require paying a small fee. There is more than enough to see in the museum that we didn’t bother with the special exhibits. Karen has been four times to my once — she went with family that live up there and/or were visiting from out of state while I stayed home.
      Mike recently posted…Old Beaumont Highway – 1968My Profile

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