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Mabel Dwight

In the Crowd

1931

Artist

Mabel Dwight (1876-1955)

Title

In the Crowd

Date

1931

Medium

Lithograph

Dimensions

Sheet: 11 5/16 × 15 13/16 in. (28.7 × 40.2 cm) Image (Irregular): 9 1/2 × 11 3/4 in. (24.1 × 29.8 cm)

Edition information

Edition of 32

Publication information

Printed by George C. Miller; published by Weyhe Gallery

Credit line

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from the Print Committee

Accession number

98.8.1

Object Label

In the Crowd is a close-up portrait of six Depression-era passersby, who stand in physical proximity while appearing remote from one another, their faces filled with a sense of looming despair. Although Mabel Dwight spent years working as an illustrator in New York, she only began to produce lithographs in 1927, using the medium to gently poke fun at social mores. The economic downturn, however, transformed her subject matter, as she felt compelled to represent the social and emotional realities of the Depression. Here, the well-defined, physically solid figures—whose troubled visages are marked by furrowed brows, dark undereye circles, and plaintive expressions—seem to reflect Dwight’s belief in the unshakable dignity of her fellow urban dwellers during this period. As Dwight’s gallerist wrote in 1937: “Each is a portrait and a personality.”