Sketch for Machine Composition #2

Media - 1986.92.73 - SAAM-1986.92.73_1 - 10254
Copied I. Rice Pereira, Sketch for Machine Composition #2, ca. 1936, pencil and crayon on paper, sheet: 17 1222 58 in. (44.557.5 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Patricia and Phillip Frost, 1986.92.73

Artwork Details

Sketch for Machine Composition #2
ca. 1936
Not on view
sheet: 17 1222 58 in. (44.557.5 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Patricia and Phillip Frost
Mediums Description
pencil and crayon on paper
  • Fantasy
  • Study
Object Number

Artwork Description

Sketch for Machine Composition #2 was inspired by the view from the artist’s studio window. “I used to look in at a power house on 16th Street where I was living, to get the feeling of power house; and then made my own.” Fascinated by their functional beauty, Pereira made machines the central focus of her work in the 1930s. In this study for a painting, she presents devices that appear to have been taken apart and reassembled into a fantastic, abstract creation. Although she appreciated the potential of mechanization to transform society, this drawing has menacing overtones that suggest ambivalence.

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