Elizabeth Olds (1896 - 1991)
lithograph, circa 1938
17 5/8 x 13 1/4
Elizabeth Olds was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and attended the Minneapolis School of Art. She won a scholarship to New York's Art Students League, where she studied under George Luks and other Social Realists. Olds won a Guggenheim Scholarship in 1925, which she used to study art for four years in Europe. In 1929 she moved to Omaha, Nebraska. Her lithographs depicted the suffering of workers and animals at the stockyards.
In 1935 she returned to New York City and worked for the WPA graphics program. She became a member of the Artist's Union and the Artists Congress, which worked to better the conditions of working artists. She also established the WPA's Silk Screen Unit.
This portrait of a miner reflects her interest in workers and their struggles.
Collection of the Illinois State Museum
photograph by Gary Andrashko
ISM Accession #: 1983.61.293
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