Frank Hartley Anderson frequently depicted men at work, particularly in Birmingham’s iron and steel industries. In an essay on “Industrial Beauty,” he wrote, “Beauty is comparative. The beauty of women, or pictures, is one kind. There a beauty in strength, and in usefulness.” In this image of a Birmingham laundry, his only print to depict female labor, Anderson ennobles the working woman, calling attention to her power and industriousness. The image also serves as a reminder of a time when discrimination left many black women with few employment options outside of domestic service or work in commercial laundries. The black laundress became a symbol of the strength and resilience of African-American women and has been the subject for numerous artists, including Isaac Soyer, Jacob Lawrence, and Willie Cole, among others.
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- Titles Laundry (Title)
- Artist Frank Hartley Anderson, American, 1891 - 1947, active Birmingham, Alabama, 1919-1938
- Medium woodcut
- Credit Line Museum purchase, 2007.10
- Object Name print
- Classification Prints