Limestone Kilns, Wyandotte Chemical Company, Michigan

Robert Riggs

American, 1896 - 1970

Limestone Kilns, Wyandotte Chemical Company, Michigan, ca. 1947-48

  • Not On View

Tempera on panel

Dimensions: 21 3/4 × 26 1/2 in. (55.2 × 67.3 cm)

Museum purchase with funds from an anonymous donor in honor of Barbara and the late Bruce Mackey, 2011.322

It was clearly due to Robert Riggs’s stature in the worlds of art and advertising that the Wyandotte Chemical Company in Michigan hired him to produce a series of paintings for their product books, sent out to their customers. Riggs created paintings that were reproduced in the five books that were printed. For a 1949 ad, Riggs portrayed a view of the eleven-story red limestone kilns at Wyandotte. For his image, Riggs chose to view the kilns from below, emphasizing their monumentality, by showing them broadly and closely cropped within the picture plane. Painting the kilns with hard-edged lines and representing the forms of the brilliant red cylinders crisply illuminated and offset against the gray industrial ladders and pipes and the sharp blue color of the sky, Riggs conveys the nature of modern industry as clean, efficient, pristine, and anonymous.

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