Look Down That Road

  • Charles Pollock, Look Down That Road, 1942, oil on canvas mounted on fiberboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1975.94.2, © 1942 Charles Pollock Archives

In this painting a black man sits on a suitcase, pondering a future that lies around a bend in the road and cannot be seen. The turbulent sky echoes the man’s loneliness, as if he has already traveled far from home. Charles Pollock painted this image during the Second World War, and it evokes the turmoil experienced by many men as they left their homes and families to join the war effort. Pollock likely took the title from Look Down that Lonesome Road,” an African American folk song recorded by Alan Lomax during the Depression years. The style of Pollock’s painting reflects his years as a student of Thomas Hart Benton, who along with Grant Wood and John Steuart Curry formed the Holy Trinity” of American scene painters in the 1930s.

Look Down That Road
3848 in. (96.4122.0 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Transfer from the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Mediums Description
oil on canvas mounted on fiberboard
  • Figure male
  • African-American
  • Landscape – road
  • African American
Object Number
Linked Open Data
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