Gandy Dancer

Gandy Dancer
Gandy Dancer, side and back
Gandy Dancer, front detail
Gandy Dancer, back detail
Gandy Dancer, artist signature
Inventory
Collection Number: 
17413
Building: 
Current Location: 
Check Writing Stand
Floor: 
1st
Object Description
Artist: 
Artist Dates: 
1939-Current
Artist Nationality: 
American
Object Type: 
Details: 
This is a bronze sculpture of a railroad worker.
Framed: 
No
Length: 
9 1/2 inches
Width: 
16 inches
Height: 
26 inches
Description: 

This depiction of an early railroad worker, then-called "gandy dancers", was created by the artist to honor Irish immigrant laborers who contributed so greatly to the western expansion of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869. The figure shown balances on two railroad ties while holding a segment of track. The strain in his hand tendons and contracted muscles in his back indicate the heavy weight of the segment and the difficulty of the work in general. He is captured mid-motion, appearing almost limp in posture as if he is dancing although the reality of the work would insinuate his posture was due to fatigue. The nickname "gandy dancers" was inspired by the synchronized movements of the rail laborers when repairing sections of track. The term gandy is recognized in the Dictionary of American English as a tool used by rail laborers to move sections of track into alignment. Fraughton is an American West sculptuor that was commissioned for a number of pieces in honor of immigrant railroad workers and their contribution to the backbone of early American economy, the Transcontinental Railroad. Fraughton recognized Kansas City as the ideal home for its history as a major railroad hub and its location in the heart of the country.

Reproduce the Work in Library publications/publicity, including film or videotape: 
Yes
Make slides or videotapes for educational use: 
Yes
Permit the general public to photograph the work : 
Yes