About the Object
This photograph, taken by Crawford in the Curtiss-Wright Aircraft Plant, features a factory fixture in front of a row of airplane wings. The fixture was used in wing fabrication; chains with metal stakes hang from various points and three clipboards are attached to the structure. The fixture juts into the scene from the right, leaving a visual path on the left-hand side that leads to the far distance where out-of-focus figures stand at tables, the fluorescent lights burning above. This is one of at least three photographs Crawford took of these fixtures in the factory, which he used to further explore the shapes and forms of his paintings of the factory.
In December 1944, Crawford received a commission from Burton Tremaine, president and chairman of the Miller Lighting Company, to commemorate the installation of nine miles of continuous fluorescent lighting in the Curtiss-Wright Aircraft Plant in Buffalo, New York. Crawford was given special permission to photograph inside the plant, taking a least a dozen pictures and creating dozens of drawings, resulting in at least 11 related paintings.
By descent to the Artist’s son, John C. Crawford, New York;
Chadds Ford, PA. Brandywine River Museum of Art. Ralston Crawford: Air + Space + War (June 19-September 1, 2021); Dayton, OH. Dayton Art Institute (October 30, 2021-January 23, 2022).