King Capital forbits the rising tight (of the poor)

  • E. Stearns, King Capital forbits the rising tight (of the poor), 1931, oil on cardboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson, 1986.65.141

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E. Stearns created this painting two years after the Wall Street crash left many Americans unemployed and desperate. The image shows “King Capital” raising his hand in a feeble attempt to stop the crowd of angry people descending from the sky. The mass of anonymous heads and arms represent all the people who suffered during the Depression, while the glamorously dressed figures symbolize the wealthy, watching in horror as the mob advances.

Title
King Capital forbits the rising tight (of the poor)
Artist
Date
1931
Location
Dimensions
17 7/8 x 23 7/8 in. (45.4 x 60.5 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on cardboard
Classifications
Keywords
  • Allegory – quality – poverty
  • Allegory – civic – injustice
  • Occupation – other – aristocrat
  • Waterscape – coast
  • Figure group
  • Allegory – quality – wealth
Object Number
1986.65.141
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI