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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Photography by Dwight Primiano.

Day Shift

Artist: Francis Criss (British, 1901 - 1973)
Date: 1943
38 x 29 in. (96.5 x 73.7 cm)
Framed: 47 1/8 × 38 1/8 × 2 3/8 in.
Medium: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2007.182
Signed: l.r.: Francis Criss
Place Depicted:
On View
Accession Number: 2007.182
Provenancecommissioned by Abbott Laboratories Collection, PA; (D. Wigmore Fine Art, Inc., New York, NY); purchased by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR, 2007
Label TextDay Shift addresses the important role of women in the workforce during World War II. The young woman operates a metal lathe, used for turning and contouring metal pieces, and a caliper to measure the outside diameter of the metal pipe.

This painting was commissioned by Abbott Laboratories to boost the country's morale during World War II. Day Shift was reproduced as a World War II propaganda poster in 1945, and mailed to doctors' offices to encourage the buying of war bonds. Commissioned artists were encourged to depict subjects related to the war effort, and Francis Criss who was raised in Philadelphia and studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, likely selected Pennsylvania's steel mills for his painting.