Artist: Charles Sheeler (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1883–1965 Dobbs Ferry, New York)
Dimensions: Image: 8 3/16 x 11 1/8 in. (20.8 x 28.3 cm)
Sheet: 11 7/16 x 16 3/16 in. (29.1 x 41.1 cm)
Credit Line: Purchase, John B. Turner Fund, 1966
Accession Number: 66.593
Together with Georgia O’Keeffe and Charles Demuth, Sheeler is often identified with Precisionism, an unofficial movement whose participants merged representation and abstraction using sharply defined lines, geometric forms, and flat planes. Precisionism flourished in the late teens and early 1920s as a uniquely American response to Cubism, taking as its subject modern technology and architecture such as skyscrapers, bridges, and machinery. This lithograph depicts the Ford Motor Company’s plant in River Rouge, Michigan, where Sheeler spent six weeks photographing every aspect of the industrial complex. The photographs, in turn, served as the source material for a series of paintings, drawings, and prints.