Maynard Dixon, 1934
Dixon’s haunting portrayal of a dejected man sitting on a street curb encapsulates an era in American history when one-fourth of the nation’s work force was unemployed. The figure’s posture of hopelessness with hunched shoulders, downcast gaze, and hands that are stilled by lack of work spoke volumes about the emotional toll the Great Depression wrought on so many Americans. More fortunate members of society hurry past, shown only from their well-dressed legs down, their humanity metaphorically out of the picture. The forgotten man’s inert form is of no more interest to the passerby than the fire hydrant to his side.