This painting by Dox Thrash was originally part of the Woodrow Wilson Middle School's collection in The School District of Philadelphia. Thrash, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1926, was known for his significant technical achievements in printmaking as well as his depictions of urban life, which included his imagery of backyards near his apartment in North Philadelphia, as well as his portraits and figures.
Thrash was included in a 1939 exhibition at The School District of Philadelphia’s headquarters in celebration of National Negro History Week and this work may have been acquired as a result. At the time, Thrash was considered a leading African American artist and a leader in the medium of his invention, carborundum printmaking.
Thrash worked with fellow Bucks County artist Paul Keene in the Philadelphia based, Fine Print Workshop. This workshop was part of the Federal Arts Project, one of several government- sponsored art programs in the 1930s to provide work relief for artists in various media. It also quickly became well known for its technical experimentation and it was there that the Carborundum print process was invented.
The work of Paul Keene is also featured in this gallery - be sure to stop by and look closer at his work.