“I have a print Robert Rauschenberg made for the 100th anniversary of the American Federation of Labor. To me, it symbolizes my own transition from buying decorations to respecting art—and the art of labor.”
St Louis labor lawyer Bruce Feldacker and his wife Barbara have collected over 400 paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture on the theme of work and the role of workers in this country and around the world. The breadth of style, the century-long time span, and the range of artists all make the collection a treasure for students of American art and American labor history.
In 2004 the Feldackers designated the collection as a promised gift to the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, where some of the works are currently on display. Public images of workers in America tend to be limited—and often stereotyped. We hope this first installment of images from the collection will spark discussion—and research. If you have additional information about these works please contact us or share it on our facebook page.
Malcolm & Mary Ann Owen
circa early 1990s
Image courtesy of the Feldacker Collection