Curator's comments: Audio (2:58)
Chaim Gross

painted plaster
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Rosen

This sculpture was the intermediate scale model for an overdoor stone relief for the Federal Trade Commission Building on Pennsylvania Avenue at Sixth Street, N.W., in Washington, D.C. It was commissioned by the Treasury Department's Section of Painting and Sculpture. Because there was no guarantee that the Federal Trade Commission would permanently occupy the building, the sculptor was asked to select a subject suggesting the nation's enterprise. Gross chose to represent Industry, as illustrated by the steelworkers he saw laboring day and night in New York City. Because this was a commissioned project, Gross had to make the details more realistic than he would normally have done. It is also one of the rare examples of his using all male figures in a work.

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