Artwork Information

  • Title:

    Labor’s Centennial / AFL-CIO / 1881-1981

  • Artist:

    Rauschenberg, Robert

  • Artist Bio:

    American, 1925–2008

  • Date:


  • Medium:

    Color photo-offset lithograph

  • Dimensions:

    36 x 24 inches

  • Credit Line:

    Wichita Art Museum, Gift of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations

  • Object Number:


  • Display:

    Not Currently on Display

About the Artwork

As one of the most innovative American artists of the 20th century, Rauschenberg explored many techniques throughout his career. He spent much of his later career focused on printmaking projects that often-used images from popular media in a combined collage technique to make a work of art and a statement. His exploration of art and its interaction with modern icons of American life would prove to be influential on rising artists for years to come.

Rauschenberg often used his work to make a political statement throughout his career. He hoped that his collage works of modern problems and political issues would be an agent to affect social change. As he became wealthy and famous, he tried to use his influence, art, and money to help others. Much of his artwork like Labor’s Centennial / AFL-CIO reflects his commitment to trying to make the world a better place. He often donated poster designs or created artwork, like this print, for organizations and causes he believed in to help them raise funds or promote their work.

Labor’s Centennial is a large multi-colored print poster that combines images of workers protesting, the traditional AFL-CIO “hand in hand” logo, and the union labels of all unions affiliated with the organization. The work conveys the energy and emotions of 100 years of the labor movement and the pride of the individual trade unions in their work.