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The Strike, (painting)

Artist:
Koehler, Robert b. 1850
Type:
Paintings
Exhibition Catalogs
Date:
1876
Notes:
Appears in exhibition catalog as entry no. 215 (Sale info: $4000.00).
"Born in Hamburg, 1850; brought to America, 1854. Was pupil of the National Academy, under Prof. L.E. Wilmarth, N.A., and the Art Students' League, New York, under Walter Shirlaw. studied also in Munich, under Loefftz and Defregger. First exhibited, 1878, at the National Academy, New York." [P. XLI.]
"A crowd of excited workingmen has gathered in front of the residence of the owner of the foundries - seen in the right of the picture - where they have been working. The spokesman of the party is earnestly talking, reciting the grievances of his distressed companions, towards whom he points with his left hand, while his right hand is clenched, showing that he is speaking temeprately with an effort. Behind him stands a brawny workman in his shirt sleeves, critically observing the face of the mill owner; others regard the latter vindictively, some curiously. All, however, are determined. Some would use violence. One is picking up a stone. Only a little thing would turn the crowd into a mob. A woman, who dreads possible violent action by the men, is appealing to one of them to urge the crowd to desist. The man holds out his hands: 'look at the case,' he seems to say; 'what can we do. Must we starve.' " The mill owner's face is pale. It is a hard, unsympathetic face, and seems to indicate that the artist, in the selection of his type, was actuated by a feeling of sympathy for the working- men, whose cause he desired to present in the strongest possible way. The mill owner in the picture is a man whose whole aim is money getting. There is no sympathy in the man; he seems to desire to temporize with the crowd, to avert present difficulty until he can provide against danger. Every face in the picture is a study. One man looks sneeringly at the pale face of the mill owner; others have in their eyes the figures of a half-starved woman with an infant in her arms and a scantily clothed child beside her, standing near the steps of the rich man's house, an emphatic illustration of the hard lives lived by the families of the poorly paid men. " Beyond the grimy foundries a river divides the city. Through the mists we see sails of river craft, and discern the outlines of a bridge. A gray, cold sky harmonizes well with the general sentiment of the picture. - National Academy Notes, 1886." [P. 17-18.
Illustration depicts the group of angry men seen at relatively close range. The wrought iron staircase of the mill owner's house with the figure of the mill owner upon it descends toward the gathered workers from the left side of the picture. The illustration is noted: "fragment from 'The Strike.' - Robert Koehler. [from National Academy Notes, 1886.]
Illustrated Catalogue of the Art Gallery of the Southern Exposition, Louisville, Ky. August 28 - October 23, 1886 Prepared by Charles M. Kurtz, Editor of National Academy Notes, Director of the Art Department. Published for the Art Committee by John P. Morton and Company, 440-446 West Main Street, Louisville, Ky.
Artist address: 27 Goldsberger St., Munich, Germany.
Topic:
Figure group--Male
Occupation--Industry--Foundry
Occupation--Other--Labor Leader
Occupation--Labor
Architecture exterior--Domestic--House
Landscape--River
Control number:
AECI 03890215
Data Source:
Pre-1877 Art Exhibition Catalogue Index

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