Train in Coal Town

Media - 1986.65.137 - SAAM-1986.65.137_1 - 9755
Copied Jack Savitsky, Train in Coal Town, 1968, oil on fiberboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson, 1986.65.137

Artwork Details

Title
Train in Coal Town
Date
1968
Dimensions
31 1447 34 in. (79.4121.3 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson
Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on fiberboard
Classifications
Keywords
  • Landscape — Pennsylvania — Silver Creek
  • Architecture — industry — mine
  • Landscape — town
  • Architecture — vehicle — train
Object Number
1986.65.137

Artwork Description

Jack Savitsky’s Train in Coal Town depicts a coal-fired passenger train traveling between Pottsville and Silver Creek, two well-known coal towns in Pennsylvania. Behind the smoky plume of the locomotive stand a blue-gray coal breaker and eight mill houses---the very houses that make up the painting's border. Savitsky conveys the sameness and unending work of the company town through his use of repetitive patterning and decorative elements. However, the lively colors and cheerful rural setting also reflect an energetic spirit within the miner community.