Old Man Henry Serigraph

Old Man Henry, by S. Christopher James, ©2021. Old Man Henry was named from a folktale of the legendary John Henry. John Henry is a legendary figure deeply rooted in American folklore. He is often depicted as an African American railroad worker who achieved fame for his remarkable strength and prowess. According to the popular folk song and various versions of the story, John Henry competed against a steam-powered drilling machine in a race to dig a tunnel through a mountain. Despite his impressive efforts, John Henry triumphed over the machine but sadly succumbed to exhaustion and passed away soon after. His tale symbolizes workers’ struggle against industrialization and the legacy of determination, resilience, and the human spirit in the face of technological advancement. If he had survived, I imagine him always working as a steel-driving man into his older years, as so many laborers will do.


This seven-color serigraph is printed on an 11 x 17-inch cotton rag archival heavyweight sheet. The image size is 9 x 12 inches. These are a limited edition of 10 prints, hand-printed and signed by the artist.