Investigating the Painted Past
'Trabajando en el Campo'
Painted by Seferina Contreras Klinger.
Oil on canvas, 1998.
Wisconsin Historical Museum object #1999.131.1.
Trabajando en el Campo
Trabajando en el Campo (Working in the Fields) is a folk painting made from memory by an untrained artist. Beginning in the late 1940s, the Contreras family of south Texas traveled to Wisconsin to work in the farms and processing facilities of the Marks Brothers Pickle Company near Wautoma.
The artist, Seferina Contreras Klinger, traveled with the family during each summers as a child in the 1960s, but decided to stay in Texas when she reached her teens.
The painting shows the Contreras family working in the cucumber fields in 1965. It highlights the artist's grandmother, Aurelia Contreras, and her uncle, Fidel Contreras, picking and loading cucumbers in the fields. Klinger painted the scene from childhood memories and used family photographs for facial details.
Investigate this painting by clicking on an image below.