(Death in the dust bowl) by Barbara Olmsted

(Death in the dust bowl) by Barbara Olmsted

(Death in the dust bowl)

Barbara Olmsted

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Title

(Death in the dust bowl)

 
Artist
Year
c. 1935  
Technique
crayon and pencil drawing 
Image Size
14 x 16 13/16" image and paper size 
Signature
unsigned (estate stamp, lower right) 
Edition Size
 
Annotations
 
Reference
 
Paper
thick, ivory wove 
State
 
Publisher
 
Inventory ID
19944 
Price
$600.00 
Description

This drawing is possibly a study sheet for a painting. A draft horse lies dead in a field and a farmer bent over a plow. Around the main images are studies of horses, heads, and hands. In the background a barn and house burn. This drawing is probably a response to the Dust Bowl that hit the Southern plains of the U.S. in the 1930s, caused in part by a drought and improper land managment. Farming in the early 20th century was difficult at best, tragedy at worst. Farming in the 21st century is facing many of the same problems with climate change, this time around the globe. Will we ever learn from the past?

Olmsted’s 1930s work reflects the changing tides of modern art in the early half of the 20th century. The bulk of her oeuvre was rooted in surrealism and evolved into non-representational abstract expressionism. One hallmark of this path is her use of gestural line, attributed in some respects to Atelier 17 founder Stanley William Hayter, with whom she studied during the workshop’s original iteration in Paris in the late 1930s. She went on to become an early organic farmer.

After divorcing Fred Olmsted in 1944, Barbara married Winston Petty in 1945. They operated a walnut orchard and a landscaping business in Danville, California. In 1954, they moved to a seventy-acre farm near Mt. Angel, Oregon to continue organic farming. After her divorce from Winston, Barbara relocated to Silverton, Oregon in 1959 where she married Al Phillips and began a long and successful career in real estate. She was a member of the Oregon State Grange, Redland Chapter, and was an official pianist for fifty years.

 

Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email artannex@aol.com to purchase this item.