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Ralston Crawford

Steel Foundry, Coatesville, Pa., 1936-1937

About the Artwork

During the Depression, Ralston Crawford’s paintings of highways, grain elevators, and steel foundries captured America’s enduring optimism about technology and progress. Like the work of his Precisionist contemporaries, such as Elsie Driggs and Charles Sheeler, Steel Foundry, Coatesville, Pa. depicts the functional architecture of commerce and industry using bold geometric forms and crisp lines. In Crawford’s portrayal, the foundry becomes a looming silhouette devoid of human presence, its architecture reduced to an arrangement of flat, monochromatic planes. Two fences act as barriers that close off the structure from the street. Crawford exaggerates the size and severity of the building by contrasting it sharply with the flattened fences and telephone poles in the foreground, as well as the background of wispy clouds.

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About Our Prints

The Whitney Print Shop offers exclusive custom reproductions of artworks in the collections and exhibitions of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Hand-made in the USA using gallery-quality materials, we create prints as true to the original work as possible, using strict color management protocols and state-of-the-art printing technology.

Many of the works offered through this store are exclusive and not available anywhere else. We are continually adding new artworks to our offering, so be sure to check back regularly as you build your own gallery. A variety of molding styles means our custom framed prints can match any type of decor.