Sunday, October 23, 2016

Francis Quirk's Art Documents the Pennsylvania Coal Mines

Among the Quirk works on paper auctioned at the September 2016, Maine auction were a couple of well executed charcoal drawings of coal miners. They may have been illustrations to accompany a short story or novel. One attractive feature of the drawings is that they both convey a scene. The first may be of a miner avoiding potential hostile co-workers.

Quirk "Coal Mine" "Quitting Time"
Charcoal Drawing Leaving the Coal Mine by Francis Quirk
"Pennsylvania Coal Mine Image" Francis Quirk
Charcoal Sketch of the group of miners on the back of Leaving the Coal Mine by Francis Quirk

The second image could illustrate the moment when the miners hear an alarm siren. They are looking up from their tasks without the look of relief or joy that would accompany a quitting time signal. Instead they seem taught and concerned. Perhaps they are hearing the rumblings of a cave in?
"Coal Mine Alarm Whistle Image" Pennsylvania  Quirk
Charcoal Drawing of Miners by Francis J. Quirk

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