Braceros

Media - 2014.20 - SAAM-2014.20_1 - 106841
Copied Domingo Ulloa, Braceros, 1960, oil on masonite, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Eugene Iredale and Julia Yoo, 2014.20

Artwork Details

Title
Braceros
Date
1960
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
36 × 49 in. (91.4 × 124.5 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Eugene Iredale and Julia Yoo
Mediums Description
oil on masonite
Classifications
Highlights
Keywords
  • Dress — accessory — hat
  • Mexican
  • Architecture Exterior — detail — fence
  • Figure group — male
Object Number
2014.20

Artwork Description

Domingo Ulloa painted this canvas after several visits to a Bracero camp in Holtville, California. The Bracero Program (1942-64) was a bi-national effort that brought Mexican guest workers, known as braceros, to fill in agricultural labor shortages caused by World War II. Ulloa's crowd of workers, who peer dejectedly through a barbed-wire fence, reinforce the mounting public protest against their poor living and working conditions. His composition recalls photographs of concentration camp inmates, which Ulloa--a World War II veteran--was familiar with. Ulloa later stated, "Most of my paintings are inspired by the common people in their work, in their joy, and their struggle."