Day's end.jpg

Class of Summer 1947
Loren Roberta Barton
b. Oxford, Massachusetts, 1893
d. Claremont, California, 1975
Day’s End, c. 1947
Oil on canvas
36 x 40 inches

Loren Barton’s image of two women in a migrant camp at the end of a day’s work is a commentary on the difficult social and economic times wrought by the Great Depression. The painting may allude to the federal bracero (“manual laborer”) program that invited Mexican temporary workers into the United States to fill a labor shortage in agriculture from 1942 to 1964. More specifically, the painting refers to the plight of women who joined the agricultural labor force with their families, living in tents and makeshift homes. Moreover, because Gardena was an agricultural community, the painting would have been especially meaningful for students at the school, who traditionally began working in the fields when they were children and often continued to do so throughout their high school years.

GIFTED: Collecting the Art of California at Gardena High School, 1919-1956 is organized by the GHS Art Collection, Inc, in association with the Gardena High School Student Body and curated by Susan M. Anderson.