Perspectives Books and Archives

Fasanella, 1992

Sep 6, 2021 22 MINUTES
Born in the Bronx on Labor Day in 1914 to recent Italian immigrants, the self-taught American painter Ralph Fasanella is known today for his bustling tableaux of working-class city life. His exuberant scenes of baseball stadiums, street festivals, and labor strikes are rich with detail and symbolism pulled from his life and times. In this 1992 documentary, Fasanella speaks to a classroom of high school students; revisits his childhood neighborhood of Greenwich Village; recalls his early days working as a garment worker and truck driver, his later successes as a union organizer; and has his painting, “Family Supper” (1972), put on permanent display in the Great Hall at Ellis Island. One of the most socially engaged artists of his generation, Fasanella is a visionary whose understudied body of work shows how art can propose a better world by standing in solidarity with all members of society. A film by Glen Pearcy. Narrated by Julian Bond.

Subscribe for new content from The Met:

#TheMet #Art #TheMetropolitanMuseumofArt #Museum

© 2021 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

More from From the Vaults

Berenice Abbott: A View of the 20th Century, 1992

An overhead image of highways

Organism, 1975—A Film by Hilary Harris

Famous Foreign Lady Captures Heart of New York, 1963

From the Vaults

See all
GIF of eighties version of Met logo, animated architecture zooming out to reveal computerized Met Fifth Avenue building