Daily Artwork — “Subway, Lily Furedi, 1934”
Use the images posted in this feature for writing prompts, warm-up activities, drawing templates or as part of an artwork critique.
1934 — Subway. Oil on Canvas. Lily Fruedi (1896 – 1969). Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC.
“In this painting Lily Furedi boldly did something that few dare to do: she looked at people on the subway. She took the viewpoint of a seated rider gazing down the car at her fellow passengers. The Hungarian-born artist knew of the subway riders’ customary avoidance of staring at one’s fellow riders; most people in her painting keep to themselves by hiding behind a magazine or newspaper, or by sleeping. Those who violate the unwritten rule do so furtively. A woman takes a quiet sidelong glance at the newspaper read by the man next to her, while a man steals a peek at a young woman applying lipstick. Only two women in the foreground, who obviously know each other, dare to look directly at each other as they talk companionably.” (Smithsonian)
This painting was part of the New Deal’s Federal Art Program.