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Blast Furnace and Dust Catcher, Ford Plant

A work made of gelatin silver print.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.




Charles Sheeler
American, 1883–1965

About this artwork

Charles Sheeler was both a painter and a photographer of architecture and industrial forms in the highly detailed Precisionist style. In 1927, Sheeler was commissioned to photograph Ford Motor Company’s mammoth manufacturing facility, the River Rouge Factory, in Dearborn, Michigan, which Sheeler called “incomparably the most thrilling [subject] I have had to work with.” The project was part of an advertising campaign designed to show the factory—and thus its parent company—as “one huge, perfectly timed, smoothly operating machine.” Sheeler chose not to photograph Ford automobiles or even assembly lines, but instead focused on the geometric patterns and abstract designs of the factory itself. Sheeler’s images depict machinery as coherent, natural forms and reveal his view, held by many modernist artists, that the very efficiency of machinery in function and design was itself a thing of beauty.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Charles Sheeler


Blast Furnace and Dust Catcher, Ford Plant


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 print


Image: 24 × 19.3 cm (9 1/2 × 7 5/8 in.); Paper: 25.2 × 20.2 cm (9 15/16 × 8 in.)

Credit Line

Julien Levy Collection, Special Photography Acquisition Fund

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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