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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.

Date:

1927

Artist:

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.

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Photography and Media

Artist

Charles Sheeler

Title

Blast Furnace and Dust Catcher, Ford Plant

Origin

United States

Date

Made 1927

Medium

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions

24 × 19.3 cm (image); 25.2 × 20.2 cm (paper)

Credit Line

Julien Levy Collection, Special Photography Acquisition Fund

Reference Number

1979.113

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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