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Archer Daniels Midland Elevator

1933-1943 Arnold Ness Klagstad Born: Marinette, Wisconsin 1898 Died: Minneapolis, Minnesota 1954 oil on canvas 22 1/4 x 28 1/8 in. (56.6 x 71.4 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Transfer from the U.S. Department of Labor 1964.1.196 Not currently on view


Exhibition Label

Cars and trains, industry and agriculture, trees and smokestacks meet in this busy image of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Local painter Arnold Klagstad gently guided the viewer's eye into the painting along a curving stretch of road with a car and two pedestrians to lead the way past a brick house, trees, and green lawns. Two white railroad crossing signs signal an abrupt transition to the confusing complex of commercial structures crowded along the railroad tracks. Among the many buildings is the Harris Machinery Company at the far right, announced by a bold black and white sign, while a towering Archer Daniels Midland grain elevator dominates the view. The density of businesses may suggest a thriving economy, but in fact drought and low farm prices made for hard times in 1930s Minnesota. The juxtapositions of greenery with steel, and agricultural structures with manufacturing signal the tensions among farmers, business owners, and unions that led to violent confrontations in the streets of Minneapolis in 1934.

1934: A New Deal for Artists exhibition label

Keywords

Architecture Exterior - domestic - house

Architecture Exterior - industry - factory

Architecture Exterior - industry - grain elevator

Cityscape - street

Figure group

Object - other - sign

New Deal - Public Works of Art Project - Minnesota

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Arnold Ness Klagstad

Born: Marinette, Wisconsin 1898 Died: Minneapolis, Minnesota 1954