Created by
Streat, Thelma Johnson, American, 1911 - 1959
Date
1942-1944
Medium
tempera and oil paint on paper mounting board
Dimensions
H x W (unframed): 15 9/16 × 15 3/16 in. (39.6 × 38.6 cm)
H x W x D (framed): 20 3/4 × 20 7/8 × 3 in. (52.7 × 53 × 7.6 cm)
Caption
Thelma Johnson Streat (1911–1959)
Medicine and Transportation, ca.1940
Tempera and oil on paper mounting board
Conservation funded by grant from the
Bank of America Art Conservation Project
Thelma Johnson Streat’s Medicine and Transportation is a mural study created to acknowledge and celebrate African American contributions to the fields of medicine and transportation. In 1940 she assisted Mexican muralist Diego Rivera during the creation of his Pan American Unity (commissioned for the Golden Gate International Exposition). Rivera’s frequent use of proletarian themes and complex tableaux had a profound influence on the young artist.
In this work, Streat incorporated a variety of vignettes, including images of black Americans working in scientific laboratories, drafting plans, and performing skilled manual labor. The results of these endeavors—innovations in flight, the rail system, fuel equipment, and technology—are pictured in the top section of the mural.
Description
This mural study includes depictions of various transportation and scientific industries. It is divided into two fields, an upper and a lower. The upper depicts examples of transportation technology, including a railroad engine, a propeller plane, a blimp, and a combustible engine. They are painted using broad streaks of color, contrasted with blocks of black and white. The lower field depicts a scene of science and technology, with African-American figures at work in a laboratory, a metal refinery, and a mine, set against a background of industrial scenes. On the back in the top left-hand corner is a partial graphite sketch of the airplane.
Classification
Visual Arts
Type
studies (visual works)
paintings
Topic
Art
Education
Labor
Medicine
Science
Technology
Transportation
U.S. History, 1933-1945
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Object number
2012.13.1
Restrictions & Rights
© Thelma Johnson Streat Project
GUID
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd54c83b7f5-7f0d-4467-bf2f-1ffba36af125
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