All in a Day's Work

Depictions of labor from the Crocker Art Museum

By Crocker Art Museum

Portrait of the Painter Anne Vallayer-Coster (1783) by Alexandre RoslinCrocker Art Museum

Anne Valleyer-Coster was the most important female painter of still-lifes in 18th-century France.

Here, the artist is depicted with her tools which include an array of brushes and palette where she lays and mixes colors.

Italian Shepherd by Virgil WilliamsCrocker Art Museum

Responsible for tending to and herding roaming livestock, shepherding is one of the oldest occupations.

Among Italian architectural ruins, a sheepherder pauses with his flock so that they can graze on the green grass.

Notice the texture of his woolen vest.

Idyll by David Adolph Constant ArtzCrocker Art Museum

Dressed in 19th century peasant clothing, a young Dutch shepherd entertains himself with a pipe.

Behind him, sheep graze peacefully in the dark background lit only by the gaps in the trees. What differences do you see between this shepherding scene and the previous one?

The Morning Greeting by Franz Schmid-BreitenbachCrocker Art Museum

This scene illustrates domestic work typically handled by the women of the household.

At her spinning wheel, a mother receives her son's greeting through the window.

The spinning wheel here is being used to tease out clumps of wool into yarn which would be used to make clothing and other textiles.

The Hurdy-Gurdy Girl by Karl Theodor von PilotyCrocker Art Museum

A young girl plays her hurdy-gurdy in a vine-covered garden.

In Eastern Europe, the hurdy-gurdy became a favorite instrument of peasants who entertained as nomadic musicians.

An ancient instrument, the hurdy-gurdy has strings like the violin which are played with a circular bow operated by a hand crank.

Vaqueros (1906) by Alexander F. HarmerCrocker Art Museum

Spanish for cowboy, a vaquero is known for mastery of horsemanship used to herd droves of livestock.

Two vaqueros charge across the hilly landscape driving a lone cow back to the group.

Look closely at the rider’s clothing. What do you think his pants are made of?

Placer Mining (1854) by William F ChadwickCrocker Art Museum

Miners flocked to the West from around the country and abroad in search for gold.

These prospectors are using water to separate gold from soil in a Long Tom.

Dirt is shoveled into the top of the Long Tom and heavier gold and sand would drift to the bottom where it could be panned and collected.

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