Field Workers

  • Ellis Wilson, Field Workers, ca. 1948-1951, oil on fiberboard: masonite, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Harmon Foundation, 1967.57.31

Exhibition Label

A lush jungle of flowering tobacco plants provides the backdrop for a family of field hands who walk in frieze-like procession along a rough dirt path. The hoes and head coverings convey the nature of their toil in the heat of a late summer sun, yet their upright postures and steady gait suggest liveliness. Faces are hidden in shadow and bodies are defined by unmodulated shapes of the brightly colored clothing. Field Workers speaks eloquently to the condition of a particular family's life -- and by extension to the lives of all who toil on the land.

African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, 2016


Field Workers
ca. 1948-1951
Not on view
29 3/4 x 34 7/8 in. (75.5 x 88.6 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the Harmon Foundation

Mediums Description
oil on fiberboard: masonite
  • Figure group – family
  • Landscape – road – path
  • Landscape – farm
  • Occupation – farm
  • Dress – accessory – hat
  • Object – tool – hoe
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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