Without Base: 59.7 x 40 x 38.4cm (23 1/2 x 15 3/4 x 15 1/8")
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; transfer from the Smithsonian American Art Museum; gift of David E. Dykaar, 1968
Samuel Gompers: European\British\English
A leader in the Cigarmakers International Union in the 1870s, Samuel Gompers took issue with those who saw unions as vehicles for political influence or the transformation of capitalism: he believed that the labor movement's sole purpose was to improve wages, hours, and working conditions. Adhering to this limited mission, he organized the American Federation of Labor in 1886 and made it the most influential union in America. When he posed for this bust in the last year of his life, he told the sculptor, Moses Dykaar, "I want bread and butter for the working man and an hour to think."