<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-PTT6ZS" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden"></iframe> Whitney Museum of American Art: Ida Abelman: Wonders of our Time
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Ida Abelman

Wonders of our Time

1937

Artist

Ida Abelman (1910-2002)

Title

Wonders of our Time

Date

1937

Medium

Lithograph

Dimensions

Sheet: 16 1/8 × 23 5/8 in. (41 × 60 cm) Image: 11 9/16 × 15 1/16 in. (29.4 × 38.3 cm)

Edition information

Edition of 50

Publication information

Published by WPA/FAP--New York Project

Credit line

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

Accession number

93.80

Object Label

Social realist Ida Abelman worked throughout the Depression for the Works Progress Administration, completing lithographs and larger public murals. Much of her deeply political work presented glimpses of the urban poor, among whom she counted herself. Her art also incorporated architectural elements excerpted from New York’s landscape, including the Brooklyn Bridge, subway platforms, and the elevated train tracks that rose above downtown streets. Wonders of Our Time shows a mob rushing into and out of a crowded subway car, with the irony of the work’s title forcefully conveyed by the collapsed man at the image’s center. Influenced by Surrealism, Abelman imbued this everyday scene with a dreamy sense of foreboding and aggression, as human bodies strain against the mechanization and progress such technological advances were meant to bring.