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A work made of gelatin silver collage (triptych).

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  • A work made of gelatin silver collage (triptych).




Charles Sheeler
American, 1883–1965

About this artwork

This maquette is the only surviving version of a seven-by-twelve foot photographic mural created by Charles Sheeler for an exhibition on mural art at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Murals, promoted in the Americas and Europe in the 1930s, created a vast new space of display for painters and photographers, who, like Sheeler, freely crossed media boundaries to make the giant compositions. The multiple source photographs in this maquette, all taken by Sheeler, depict the Ford Motor Company’s plant in River Rouge, near Detroit, where the artist traveled in 1927 as part of a commission to make publicity pictures for the company. The left and right sections of the triptych are halves of a single photograph, while the central portion represents a montage of three other pictures taken at the plant. The bold leaps in scale and subject are what made murals of the 1930s—both painted and photographic—impressive in their dynamism.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Charles Sheeler




United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1927


Gelatin silver collage (triptych)


Unmarked recto; verso unchecked


Image/paper a: 20 × 7 cm (7 7/8 × 2 13/16 in.); Image/paper b: 20.1 × 16.2 cm (7 15/16 × 6 7/16 in.); Image/paper c: 20 × 7 cm (7 7/8 × 2 13/16 in.); Overall: 19.9 × 38.1 cm (7 7/8 × 15 in.); Mount: 35.6 × 46 cm (14 1/16 × 18 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Julien Levy Collection, Gift of Jean and Julien Levy

Reference Number


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 . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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