Lunchtime Rest

Media - 1967.59.1100 - SAAM-1967.59.1100_1-000001 - 52040
Copied William H. Johnson, Lunchtime Rest, ca. 1940-1941, tempera and pen and ink on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Harmon Foundation, 1967.59.1100

Artwork Details

Title
Lunchtime Rest
Date
ca. 1940-1941
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
sheet: 1318 in. (33.045.7 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of the Harmon Foundation
Mediums
Mediums Description
tempera and pen and ink on paper
Classifications
Keywords
  • Architecture — machine — crane
  • African-American
  • Occupation — industry — construction
  • Architecture — other — well
  • State of being — other — sleep
  • Figure group — male
  • African American
Object Number
1967.59.1100

Artwork Description

The brilliant colors and bold stripes recall the multi-stripe designs of West African textiles and the African American tradition of freehand quilting. Johnson based Lunchtime Rest on memories of the South, even though by 1940 he had not visited for many years. Johnson captured the quiet dignity of rural workers’ rest from mundane activities without romanticizing their labor.

Graphic Masters II: Highlights from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2009