Harvest Talk

Charcoal drawing of two black men, exaggerated arms, standing in hilly landscape.
© The Charles White Archives Inc.

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  • Charcoal drawing of two black men, exaggerated arms, standing in hilly landscape.

Date:

1953

Artist:

Charles White
American, 1918-1979

About this artwork

Charles White is recognized for the richness of his graphic work and his paintings, which typically depict aspects of the history, culture, and life of African Americans. A native of Chicago, White attended the School of the Art Institute, the Art Students League of New York, and later the Taller de Gráfica Popular in Mexico. Beginning in 1939, he was employed by the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration.

White’s father was a railroad and steel worker and his mother was a domestic worker; this inspired in White a deep respect for labor. Harvest Talk, one of six charcoal and carbon pencil drawings originally exhibited at ACA Galleries in New York in 1953, exemplifies the artist’s mature drawing style. Here his strong, assured manner, coupled with the heroic proportions of the figures and the emphasis on the large scythe (an emblem often associated with the Soviet Union)—as well as the social realist sensibilities that prevail throughout his oeuvre, his travels to the Soviet Union, and his writings for and affiliation with left-wing publications such as Masses and Mainstream, Freedomways, and the Daily Worker—suggest that Harvest Talk was inspired by socialist ideals. Like many of White’s works on paper, it conveys the power of a mural despite its relatively small format.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Charles White

Title

Harvest Talk

Origin

United States

Date

1953

Medium

Charcoal, Wolff's carbon drawing pencil, and graphite, with stumping and erasing on ivory wood pulp laminate board

Dimensions

661 × 992 mm

Credit Line

Restricted gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Hartman

Reference Number

1991.126

Copyright

© The Charles White Archives Inc.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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