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Yasuo Kuniyoshi
Strong Woman and Child
57 3/8 x 44 7/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation

This muscular sideshow performer lives up to her billing as a “strong woman,” as she looks proudly into the distance. Despite her nomadic life in the circus, her bond with the child, whose hand she holds, is secure and sustaining. Like many of his contemporaries during the 1920s and 1930s, Kuniyoshi acknowledged the humanity of working-class citizens.