Thomas Pollock Anshutz spent his adolescence near the factories of Wheeling, West Virginia. During a later visit there, he sketched a group of “puddlers”—the skilled laborers who produced sheet metal that was cut into nails—taking a lunch break near a water pump in a factory yard. Anshutz depicted his subjects with the anatomical precision and unvarnished realism that he learned while studying life drawing with Thomas Eakins at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, in Philadelphia. While some scholars have characterized "The Ironworkers’ Noontime" as a criticism of industrialization, others view the painting as idealizing a type of physical labor that was disappearing due to the increasing mechanization of factory work.


  • Title: The Ironworkers' Noontime
  • Creator Lifespan: 1851 - 1912
  • Creator Nationality: American
  • Creator Gender: male
  • Creator Death Place: Fort Washington, PA
  • Creator Birth Place: Newport, KY
  • Date Created: 1880
  • Location: United States
  • Physical Dimensions: w606.55 x h431.8 in
  • Type: Painting
  • painter: Thomas Pollack Anshutz
  • credit line source: Museum
  • Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd

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