A SONG FOR OCCUPATIONS

Robert Henri, an early American painter and teacher, believed that the artist was a manual worker of images and that that made him one with the city and its people. He wanted his students to learn from Walt Whitman and embrace the city. In a "Song for Occupations" Whitman writes: "...The work and tools of the rigger, grappler, sail-maker... In them realities for you and me, in them poems for you and me..." For me, there is beauty in machinery and architecture. Workers do not appear in the paintings, but are felt through their tools and creations. These objects become more beautiful with time.