The White Dam

The White Dam


Raphael Gleitsmann

(American, 1910-1995)

Oil on Masonite

Framed: 103.5 x 116 x 5 cm (40 3/4 x 45 11/16 x 1 15/16 in.); Unframed: 97.8 x 112.7 cm (38 1/2 x 44 3/8 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1996.325


Unable to afford tuition, Akron-based Gleitsmann befriended faculty and students at the Cleveland School (now Institute) of Art where eventually he was invited to take classes without registering. The White Dam, a fantastical image of an industrial complex that dwarfs two nude workers, earned his greatest success when it was featured in the New York world’s fair of 1939. Gleitsmann’s unsettling vision of industry contrasts with the favorable attitudes typically adopted by artists of a previous generation.

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