Mounted between wood and glass, Transportation is a 2 foot by 2.5 foot oil painting on canvas by Vincent Aderente. Similar to much of Aderente's work, the painting depicts a female allegorical figure, most likely representing progress, standing with each hand upon a particular mode of transportation—shipping and the railroad. Her right hand touches a ship with the wide expanse of ocean extending beyond it. Her left hand touches a train that stands adjacent to various smokestacks and factories indicative of industrialization.
The size of this particular painting is very small compared to the rest of Vincent Aderente's portfolio. Consequently, it can be assumed that this painting was a study for a larger mural to be produced at a later date. Markings on the back indicate that Aderente painted this work in 1918, a time when his reputation was growing.
Vincent Aderente was born in 1880 in Naples, Italy, and came to the United States with his parents at the age of six. Much of his early career was as an assistant to the muralist Edwin Blashfield where he worked to build the murals now seen at the Detroit Public Library in 1922. Although most of Aderente's larger work was limited to the New Jersey and Hudson area, Aderente did some small commissions involving printed poems for the American Weekly and the New York Sunday Americans in 1924 which paired his illustrations of allegorical women with poetry. Vincent Aderente is perhaps best known for his work on a series of World War I posters entitled “Columbia Calls,” along with designing eight US Government Bonds in 1935. Aderente died in 1941.
Aderente, Vincent Papers, 1906-1960. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. [D32].