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The Bridge Party
22" x 17"
Oil on canvas
1938

Charles White is an acclaimed painter and muralist whose experience with the Works Progress Administration public projects enforced his desire to use art as a tool to educate about and promote African American contributions to culture and politics. His portraits are known for their representations of human dignity and the strength of working class communities. As with other works by White, The Bridge Party employs a dramatic perspective and tight composition—grouping the figures as if contained by the support itself, with a rich palette of warm hues and exaggerated features. White is able to draw out characteristics, expressions and styles of dress that offer an honest yet poetic narrative whose clues portray the realistic human relationships and situations of the time.