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Streetcar Scene

John Wilson (American, 1922–2015)


Image: 28.5 x 37.5 cm (11 1/4 x 14 3/4 in.) Sheet: 35.8 x 43.8 cm (14 1/8 x 17 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Americas, Prints and Drawings



This print, made during Wilson’s final year at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, depicts a young black man on his way to work at the Boston Navy Yard, where the war effort had opened up new opportunities. The only figure to confront the viewer directly, he shares a seat with white passengers, but appears separate from their reality. Wilson later referred to this print as a reflection of his own anxiety about finding work as a black artist. The MFA’s first acquisition of a work by Wilson, Streetcar Scene was given to the collection by the Museum’s then director, George Harold Edgell.


In graphite, l.l.: Street Car Scene; l.r.: John Wilson 1945


1946, gift of George H. Edgell to the MFA. (Accession Date: April 11, 1946)

Credit Line

Gift of George H. Edgell


© VAGA, New York, NY