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White Collar Boys

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White Collar Boys

1935-1936
13 x 17 3/8 in. (33 x 44.1 cm)

Elizabeth M. Olds
American (Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1896 - 1991, Sarasota, Florida)

Object Type: Print
Medium and Support: Lithograph
Credit Line: Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Accession Number: 2001.17
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Location: Not currently on view

Edition: 19/20


In White Collar Boys, Elizabeth M. Olds depicts a group of Wall Street men marching down the street with no individuation or sense of independent will. The concept of the automaton—a human/machine amalgamation—was an outgrowth of life in an industrial, urban environment in which almost all facets of life had become automated and removed from nature. In 1922, philosopher and historian Lewis Mumford wrote, “We have had the alternative of humanizing the industrial city or de-humanizing the population. So far we have de-humanized the population.”

[label text for Modern Icon: The Machine As Subject in American Art exhibition, February 3 – March 6, 2012]

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