Dinner Time, Gatun Lock, 1912
Completed in the summer of 1914, the Panama Canal was heralded as a wonder of modern engineering. The American printmaker Joseph Pennell visited the site during the later stages of its construction. Fascinated by the cavernous concrete locks and the massive earth-moving machines that dwarfed their human operators, he depicted the rapid ascent of laborers clinging to a crane that delivered them to the surface. The quick, expressive strokes of the artist's hand echo the frenzied speed of both workers and machines at the construction site.