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Worker Collection

The worker, a central figure in the capitalist pyramid, has been depicted throughout history in various forms of art and propaganda

Background imageWorker Collection: CAPITALIST PYRAMID, 1911. American Socialist poster

CAPITALIST PYRAMID, 1911. American Socialist poster

Background imageWorker Collection: WEST VIRGINIA: COAL MINE. The next trip. Coal miners sitting in a mining car

WEST VIRGINIA: COAL MINE. The next trip. Coal miners sitting in a mining car, ready to go into the mine shaft at Maidsville, West Virginia. Photograph by Marion Post Wolcott, September 1938

Background imageWorker Collection: The condensers at the South Metropolitan Gas Companys works, East Greenwich, London, 1891

The condensers at the South Metropolitan Gas Companys works, East Greenwich, London, 1891. Wood engraving

Background imageWorker Collection: BRAZIL: COFFEE PRODUCTION. Spreading coffee beans for drying at a farm in Brazil

BRAZIL: COFFEE PRODUCTION. Spreading coffee beans for drying at a farm in Brazil. Photograph, c1940

Background imageWorker Collection: China - Cultural Revolution Poster - Chairman Mao

China - Cultural Revolution Poster - Chairman Mao
The Many accomplish great things - Cultural Revolution poster from the Peoples Republic of China, featuring happy workers heading out to work, many holding aloft the Little Red Book

Background imageWorker Collection: DIEGO RIVERA: DETROIT. Automobile Industry. Large detail of Diego Riveras mural at The Detroit

DIEGO RIVERA: DETROIT. Automobile Industry. Large detail of Diego Riveras mural at The Detroit Institute of Arts, 1932-1933

Background imageWorker Collection: MIGRANT MOTHER, 1936. Florence Thompson, a 32-year-old migrant worker and mother of seven

MIGRANT MOTHER, 1936. Florence Thompson, a 32-year-old migrant worker and mother of seven, with her children in a camp for migrant workers in Nipomo, California, 1936

Background imageWorker Collection: Labour clears the way. Labour Party poster of 1910 challenging the House of Lords rejection of

Labour clears the way. Labour Party poster of 1910 challenging the House of Lords rejection of the Peoples Budget
ENGLAND: LABOUR POSTER. Labour clears the way. Labour Party poster of 1910 challenging the House of Lords rejection of the Peoples Budget

Background imageWorker Collection: CAILLEBOTTE: PLANERS, 1875. The Floor Planers. Oil on canvas by Gustave Caillebotte

CAILLEBOTTE: PLANERS, 1875. The Floor Planers. Oil on canvas by Gustave Caillebotte

Background imageWorker Collection: Miners working at the coalface, South Wales

Miners working at the coalface, South Wales
Two miners, stripped to the waist, working at the coalface in a coal seam in South Wales

Background imageWorker Collection: Advert for Horlicks malted milk 1916

Advert for Horlicks malted milk 1916
Woman in World War One workshop, drinking the nourishing food-drink Horlicks Malted Milk. Date: 1916

Background imageWorker Collection: Coal miners in shaft lift, South Wales

Coal miners in shaft lift, South Wales
Several coal miners with blackened faces stand in the shaft lift at the end of their shift in a coal mine in South Wales

Background imageWorker Collection: Blowing glass in a British factory, 1800s

Blowing glass in a British factory, 1800s
Workers in a crown-glass factory, Great Britain, early 1800s. Hand-colored engraving of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageWorker Collection: Coal mine in England, 1850s

Coal mine in England, 1850s
Removing coal in the Bradley mine, Staffordshire, England, 1850s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th century illustration

Background imageWorker Collection: Miner at Geevor Tin Mine, Pendeen, Cornwall

Miner at Geevor Tin Mine, Pendeen, Cornwall
Miner at work with a drill underground (below the sea) in Geevor Tin Mine, Pendeen, Cornwall, which was just about to cease operation. Date: circa 1986

Background imageWorker Collection: PELLIZZA DA VOLPEDO, Giuseppe (1868-1901). The

PELLIZZA DA VOLPEDO, Giuseppe (1868-1901). The

Background imageWorker Collection: Detail of Diego Riveras mural at the Detroit Institute of Arts depicting the American automobile

Detail of Diego Riveras mural at the Detroit Institute of Arts depicting the American automobile industry, 1932-33
DIEGO RIVERA: DETROIT. Detail of Diego Riveras mural at the Detroit Institute of Arts depicting the American automobile industry, 1932-33

Background imageWorker Collection: DIEGO RIVERA: DETROIT. Detail from Diego Riveras mural depicting the American automobile industry

DIEGO RIVERA: DETROIT. Detail from Diego Riveras mural depicting the American automobile industry at The Detroit Institute of Arts, 1932-1933

Background imageWorker Collection: Medieval goldsmith at work

Medieval goldsmith at work
Workshop of Etienne Delaulne, a goldsmith in Paris, 1500s. Hand-colored woodcut reproduction of a 16th-century illustration

Background imageWorker Collection: DOLLY TUB

DOLLY TUB
A laundry worker using a dolly stock and tub to clean clothes, prior to the invention of the washing machine

Background imageWorker Collection: The Harvesters, 1565. Creator: Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Harvesters, 1565. Creator: Pieter Bruegel the Elder
The Harvesters, 1565

Background imageWorker Collection: The Lutine Bell in the Underwriting Room at Lloyds of London, 1933, (1935). Creator: Unknown

The Lutine Bell in the Underwriting Room at Lloyds of London, 1933, (1935). Creator: Unknown
The Lutine Bell in the Underwriting Room at Lloyds of London, 1933, (1935). The SS L Atlantique was insured by Lloyds for almost £ 1, 000, 000

Background imageWorker Collection: Beat the Whites with the red wedge (Poster), 1920. Artist: Lissitzky, El (1890-1941)

Beat the Whites with the red wedge (Poster), 1920. Artist: Lissitzky, El (1890-1941)
Beat the Whites with the red wedge (Poster), 1920. Found in the collection of the Russian State Library, Moscow

Background imageWorker Collection: Death to World Imperialism, poster, 1919. Artist: Dmitriy Stakhievich Moor

Death to World Imperialism, poster, 1919. Artist: Dmitriy Stakhievich Moor
Death to World Imperialism, poster, 1919. Found in the collection of the Russian State Library, Moscow

Background imageWorker Collection: RUSSIA: REVOLUTION OF 1905. Father Gapon leading unarmed factory workers against

RUSSIA: REVOLUTION OF 1905. Father Gapon leading unarmed factory workers against Cossacks at the Narva Gate, St. Petersburg, 22 January 1905. Contemporary drawing

Background imageWorker Collection: The Young Communist League is the Shock Battalion of the Five-Year Plan

The Young Communist League is the Shock Battalion of the Five-Year Plan. Soviet poster, 1931, by Vladimir Lyushin
RUSSIA: FIVE YEAR PLAN. The Young Communist League is the Shock Battalion of the Five-Year Plan. Soviet poster, 1931, by Vladimir Lyushin

Background imageWorker Collection: DIEGO RIVERA: DETROIT. The central scene in Diego Riveras mural

DIEGO RIVERA: DETROIT. The central scene in Diego Riveras mural, depicting the American automobile industry at The Detroit Institute of Arts, 1932-1933

Background imageWorker Collection: Orange grove in California

Orange grove in California
California orange grove, 1890s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageWorker Collection: Two miners in a narrow coal seam, South Wales

Two miners in a narrow coal seam, South Wales
Two miners, one of them quite young, working in a narrow coal seam in a mine in South Wales

Background imageWorker Collection: Miner riding drams, Tirpentwys Colliery, South Wales

Miner riding drams, Tirpentwys Colliery, South Wales
A miner riding a journey of drams (coal trucks) at Tirpentwys Colliery near Pontypool in South Wales. Date: 1910

Background imageWorker Collection: Gardener at Pensax Court, Worcestershire

Gardener at Pensax Court, Worcestershire. Photograph by Norman Synge Waller Budd

Background imageWorker Collection: Humphrey Jennings The Silent Village (1943)

Humphrey Jennings The Silent Village (1943)

Background imageWorker Collection: Aerospatiale BAC Concorde

Aerospatiale BAC Concorde
Concorde 002 Prototype Roll-Out Ceremony Seen from Roof of the Brabazon Hangars Date: 1968

Background imageWorker Collection: Bryant and May Match Factory

Bryant and May Match Factory
Girls feeding a machine at the Bryant & May match factory, in Bow, East London, at the time a tax on matches was being discussed in the budget. Date: 1916

Background imageWorker Collection: HARLEM NEWSBOY, 1943. A newsboy from Harlem, New York. Photograph by Gordon Parks, 1943

HARLEM NEWSBOY, 1943. A newsboy from Harlem, New York. Photograph by Gordon Parks, 1943
HARLEM NEWSBOY, 1943. A newsboy in Harlem, New York. Photograph by Gordon Parks, 1943, digitally colored by Granger, NYC -- All Rights Reserved

Background imageWorker Collection: Mr George Lailey engaged in the ancient craft of wooden bowl making at Bucklebury, Berks

Mr George Lailey engaged in the ancient craft of wooden bowl making at Bucklebury, Berks. An industry carried on by his father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather. 10 December 1922

Background imageWorker Collection: The grape harvest at the Chateau de Saumur (Loire Valley, France) in September

The grape harvest at the Chateau de Saumur (Loire Valley, France) in September
BOOK OF HOURS: SEPTEMBER. The grape harvest at the Chateau de Saumur (Loire Valley, France) in September. Illumination from the 15th century manuscript of the Tres Riches Heures of Jean, Duke of Berry

Background imageWorker Collection: The kitchen of Delmonicos Restaurant, New York City. Photographed by Joseph Byron, 1902

The kitchen of Delmonicos Restaurant, New York City. Photographed by Joseph Byron, 1902
DELMONICOs RESTAURANT. The kitchen of Delmonicos Restaurant, New York City. Photographed by Joseph Byron, 1902

Background imageWorker Collection: South Street docks in New York City, 1870s

South Street docks in New York City, 1870s
Merchant ships unloading along South Street, New York City, 1870s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageWorker Collection: Coal miner filling truck, South Wales mine

Coal miner filling truck, South Wales mine
A coal miner (Billy Hurland) filling a dram (coal truck) at Baldwins Level (nicknamed Clog and Legging) in a coalmine near Pontypool in South Wales

Background imageWorker Collection: Female ICI employees enjoy a dance, South Yorkshire, 1957. Artist: Michael Walters

Female ICI employees enjoy a dance, South Yorkshire, 1957. Artist: Michael Walters
Female ICI employees enjoy a dance, South Yorkshire, 1957. A couple of girls from the ICI Detonator factory in Denaby Main (near Doncaster)

Background imageWorker Collection: WW2 poster, Don t be fuel-ish

WW2 poster, Don t be fuel-ish
WW2 poster, The worker who left the lights on -- Don t be fuel-ish. Wasted electricity means less fuel to make the weapons we need for victory

Background imageWorker Collection: SHERLOCK HOLMES. Dr. John Watson observing Sherlock Holmes working hard over a

SHERLOCK HOLMES. Dr. John Watson observing Sherlock Holmes working hard over a chemical investigation. Drawing by Sidney Paget for Arthur Conan Doyles The Adventure of the Naval Treaty, 1893

Background imageWorker Collection: Manufacture of cork balls at Chingford General view of the house 28 November 1922

Manufacture of cork balls at Chingford General view of the house 28 November 1922

Background imageWorker Collection: Workers are unloading sacks of flour from a Bedford truck belonging to Pledge & Son Ltd

Workers are unloading sacks of flour from a Bedford truck belonging to Pledge & Son Ltd, the milling company, on one of their deliveries in Ashford, Kent. 1939

Background imageWorker Collection: Hong Kong street scene, 1890s C016 / 4499

Hong Kong street scene, 1890s C016 / 4499
Hong Kong street scene. Pedestrians, carts, rickshaws and signs in both Chinese script and English on a hill street in Hong Kong in the 1890s. At the time, this area was a British colony

Background imageWorker Collection: Unemployed coal miners demonstrating at Jarrow, England, in 1936

Unemployed coal miners demonstrating at Jarrow, England, in 1936
ENGLAND: COAL MINERS, 1936. Unemployed coal miners demonstrating at Jarrow, England, in 1936

Background imageWorker Collection: SURVEYING, 1594. Surveyors taking sightings on land and sea. Line engraving, German, 1594

SURVEYING, 1594. Surveyors taking sightings on land and sea. Line engraving, German, 1594



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The worker, a central figure in the capitalist pyramid, has been depicted throughout history in various forms of art and propaganda. From American socialist posters to Diego Rivera's murals at The Detroit Institute of Arts, these artworks shed light on the struggles and triumphs of workers. In 1911, an American Socialist poster showcased the harsh reality faced by workers within the capitalist system. It emphasized the unequal distribution of wealth and power, with a small elite benefiting from the labor of many. Diego Rivera's mural depicting the automobile industry in Detroit during the 1930s captured both the grandeur and hardships experienced by workers. It showcased their tireless efforts amidst towering machinery, highlighting their crucial role in driving industrial progress. During China's Cultural Revolution, Chairman Mao became an iconic symbol for workers' empowerment. A cultural revolution poster portrayed him as a guiding force leading them towards a brighter future. Labour Party posters from 1910 challenged societal inequalities such as House of Lords' rejection of budget reforms. These visuals aimed to rally support for fairer treatment and representation for working-class individuals. From Geevor Tin Mine in Cornwall to coal mines in South Wales and England during different time periods, images depict miners enduring grueling conditions underground while contributing to fueling industries above ground. Gustave Caillebotte's painting "The Floor Planers" immortalized manual laborers engaged in mundane yet essential tasks. Their stoic expressions reveal their dedication despite monotonous work environments. Artists like El Lissitzky used powerful imagery such as "Beat the Whites with Red Wedge" to promote communist ideals after World War I. This poster conveyed unity among workers against oppressive forces through its bold design elements. Soviet propaganda posters further highlighted worker mobilization during Stalin's Five-Year Plan era. Vladimir Lyushin's artwork celebrated young communists as shock troops driving economic growth through industrialization efforts. These diverse artworks remind us that workers have played a pivotal role in shaping societies and economies.