At Work: The Art of California Labor delivers a powerful examination of labor history in California since the turn of the twentieth century. This is a visual journey that follows early events and conditions, from the rise of statewide organized labor to the changing demographics of the wartime workforce; from the zenith of the California Labor School to the farm workers’ movement; from the disenfranchisement of workers in the service economy to the potent effects of globalization felt at the end of the twentieth century. This compilation of images provides a heady insight into one of the most fundamental components of our daily lives and shows how our collective identity has evolved over time.
Mark Dean Johnson is a professor of art at San Francisco State University. He is co-author of Chang Dai-chien in California and Brian Tripp.