August 23, 2017
Maynard Dixon (1875-1946), No Place to Go, 1935, oil on canvas, 25 x 30 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Herald R. Clark.
Today’s Artwork of the Day is a highlight of the American collection at the BYU Museum of Art, one of the many pieces by Maynard Dixon within that collection. Dixon, primarily known for his panoramic vistas of the American West, produced realist paintings of Depression-era figures during the 1930s. Dixon saw many destitute people wandering the highways of the West with their belongings in bedrolls on their backs. Escaping the drought of the Great Plains, they hoped to start over with new farmland in the West. In this painting, the lone figure and empty landscape create the sense of despair that Dixon hoped we would feel. Standing in view of the continent’s end at the Pacific Ocean, the displaced man literally has “no place to go.”