JULIAN JOSEPH (1882–1964)
Joseph portrays the subterranean world of the New York subway where people of mixed classes, races, and ethnicities sit side by side. Their detached engagement suggests the impossibility of their social interaction in above-ground New York City in 1947, the year Joseph painted the piece. The black man in middle-class dress, for instance, could only reside in Harlem. Together, the middle-class white woman, the black man, and the white working class man, likely of immigrant stock, represent the diverse population of 1940s New York.