Untitled #4  [Red Button]

There is an emotional power in deLappe's portraits of longshoremen that resonates with the time--1935, a year after the historic maritime strike in San Francisco. This older worker may have gone home to comb his hair and put on a tie before coming in to sit for the portrait. The red button piques our curiosity. Perhaps it is a strike button? Perhaps a pin from Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)? There were a small number of dual-card members who belonged to the IWW and also to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

Pele deLappe, watercolor and charcoal, 1935.

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