Robert Riggs, American, 1896–1970. Limestone Kilns, Wyandotte Chemical Company, Michigan, ca. 1947–48. Tempera on panel. 21 3/4 x 26 1/2 inches. Museum purchase with funds from an anonymous donor in honor of Barbara and the late Bruce Mackey, 2011.322


October 5, 2019 - December 30, 2019

Henry Gallery

This exhibition demonstrates the fascination artists have had in depicting aspects of industry in the United States. Since the early 19th century, American artists have taken the buildings and factories in which raw materials are processed to manufacture goods as their subject. Some artists portrayed these buildings in optimistic and idealized ways as symbols of prosperity, while others show factories in a more critical light, reflecting on factories’ dehumanization and environmental impact. 

From the Exhibition

  • John Dempsey, American, born 1950. Plant #31, Buick City, Flint, Michigan, 2009–2010. Acrylic on canvas. 117 x 72 inches. Gift of Margo Lakin and John Dempsey, 2018.45

  • Alexander Levy, American, 1881–1947. Stamping Room – Pierce Arrow Factory, ca. 1924. Oil on plywood. 20 x 15 inches. Gift of Pat Glascock and Michael D. Hall, Inlander Collection, 2003.26

  • Edmund Lewandowski, American, 1914–1998. Great Lakes Shipbuilding, 1949. Oil on canvas. 30 x 24 inches. Courtesy of the Isabel Foundation, Inlander Collection, L2003.81