James Brooks ( American, 1906 - 1992 )
With its portrayal of a steamroller and a horse-drawn milk cart taking shelter under a tunnel or bridge, the lithograph "Early Morning" records the passing of an era and the dawning of another. The steamroller in the foreground is the harbinger of the construction of the roads and highways that would come to dominate the American landscape after World War II. Even partially covered up, the powerful steamroller anchors this print, and the heavy cylinder that functions as the front wheel provides a central focus, alluding to the pivotal importance of this machine in American history. In comparison, the somewhat bedraggled and homely horse lashed to the milk cart looks positively tired and appears to shrink-both literally and metaphorically-into the background.