Life of the People: Realist Prints and Drawings from the Ben and
Beatrice Goldstein Collection, 1912-1948
HOME - Exhibition Overview - Object List - Bibliography - Credits
Exhibition Sections: Art of the People - The Radical Impulse - City Life
Capital and Labor - The American Scene - Ben Goldstein

Loading The division between capital and labor widened considerably
after the Civil War as fledgling trade unions sought to assert the
claims of their members against Gilded Age industrialists taking
advantage of lax government regulations on issues of hours, health,
safety, and compensation. Confrontations often turned violent and the
widely reported brutal suppression of strikes by National Guard troops
or private corporate armies raised public awareness and impelled
intellectuals, middle class reformers, and even bohemian artists and
writers to offer support to the labor movement. Until the outbreak of
World War I and the development of the internal combustion engine gave
new impetus to the American economy, doubts began to surface about the
viability of capitalism itself. With the onset of the Great Depression
those doubts returned.

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