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Image of Riot

Albert Edward Sterner
American, 1863–1946



Object Type: Print
11 7/8 in. x 8 15/16 in. (30.16 cm x 22.7 cm)
Medium and Support: Drypoint on paper
Accession Number: 1975.0114

Credit Line: Gift of the Fred Bentley, Sr., and J. Alan Sellers families

The economic collapse of the 1930s in the U.S. led to conditions that resulted in many forms of civil unrest. Frustrations boiled over, particularly for those who were poor and most at risk of starvation and losing hard-won homes. Albert Sterner’s "Riot "was influenced by works that depicted angry citizens during the French Revolution who, like this group, charge into a scene that promises violence. The factories with smoke billowing from massive chimneys suggest that they seek the overthrow of the institutions—government, industry, and business systems—that had failed them.

Sterner studied in Paris from the early 1890s until 1918. As a naturalized American citizen, he created many illustrations and limited edition prints that reflected his appreciation for democracy and the American republic, while championing the plight of the working class.

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