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Ida Abelman

Wonders of our Time
1937

Not on view

Date
1937

Classification
Prints

Medium
Lithograph

Dimensions
Sheet: 16 1/8 × 23 5/8in. (41 × 60 cm) Image: 11 9/16 × 15 1/16in. (29.4 × 38.3 cm)

Accession number
93.80

Edition
Ed. 50

Publication
Published by WPA/FAP--New York Project

Credit line
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Print Committee

Rights and reproductions
© artist or artist’s estate

Social realist Ida Abelman worked throughout the Depression for the Works Progress Administration, completing lithographs and larger public murals. Much of her deeply political work presented glimpses of the urban poor, among whom she counted herself. Her art also incorporated architectural elements excerpted from New York’s landscape, including the Brooklyn Bridge, subway platforms, and the elevated train tracks that rose above downtown streets. Wonders of Our Time shows a mob rushing into and out of a crowded subway car, with the irony of the work’s title forcefully conveyed by the collapsed man at the image’s center. Influenced by Surrealism, Abelman imbued this everyday scene with a dreamy sense of foreboding and aggression, as human bodies strain against the mechanization and progress such technological advances were meant to bring.




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