Maynard Dixon, 1941
In the midst of the Depression, between one and two million Americans were wandering the country in search of work. In this painting, two such men, or “blanket stiffs” as they were called due to their bedrolls on their backs, walk towards an unknown future in a landscape as bleak as their bank accounts. The road stretches endlessly before them; their destitute state is reflected in the two barren sticks projecting out of the ground to their left. The men are seen from behind and thus remain faceless representatives of an era. Dixon’s wife, Dorothea Lange, captured a similar image photographically (“Migrant Worker on California Highway, June 1935).