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Subway Scene

Julian Joseph (1882–1964), Subway Scene, 1947, oil on canvas, 20 1/8 x 24 5/16 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Dr. George Nicholson.

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.

Curricular Resources

The MOA has created suggested discussion prompts and assignments for BYU CIV faculty and students to use. Each assignment is based on themes that correspond with GE learning outcomes.

View Curricular Resources Related to This Work:
20th Century African American Concerns