American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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No Work

No Work
Blanche Grambs, (b.1916)
No Work, 1935
Printed at the Art Students League
by Will Barnet
Prints & Photographs Division
Gift of Ben and Beatrice Goldstein Foundation, 1999 (66.4)

The defeated figure portrayed in No Work depicts the rawness of life during the Depression. Born in Beijing, China, to American parents, Grambs arrived in New York in 1934 with a full scholarship to attend the Art Students League. In 1936 she joined the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration, earning enough money to maintain her studio on Fourteenth Street, an area where many radicals congregated. The print is part of an important collection of images that addressed a broad spectrum of American social and political issues from 1912 to 1948.

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