Magnet: The Non-Union Helper by James Bonar

James Bonar (American, 1864-1942), The Non-Union Helper, 1892. Oil on canvas. Frick Art & Historical Center, Pittsburgh.

This little painting intrigues many visitors to Clayton, especially those who know that Henry Clay Frick was known for his anti-union stance towards labor. Bonar was a local artist who based this painting on a c.1889 photograph of a burro carrying supplies for the construction of the Pike's Peak Railroad, which was also circulated in print form. How the painting came into Frick's possession is unknown, but he did write the artist a letter of appreciation promising to hang it in his library.


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