American Congress Artists



THIS IS A CALL to all artists, of recognized standing in their profession, who are aware of the critical conditions existing in world culture in general, and in the field of the Arts in particular. This Call is to those artists, whom conscious of the need of action realize the necessity of collective dissuasion and planning, with the objective of the preservation and development of our cultural heritage. It us for those artists who realize that the cultural crisis is but a reflection of a world economic crisis and not an isolated phenomenon.

The artists are among those most affected by the world economic crisis. Their income has dwindled dangerously close to zero.

Dealers, museum, and private patrons have long ceased to supply the meager support hay once gave.

Government, State and Municipally sponsored Art Projects are giving only temporary employment - to a small fraction of this artists.

In addition to his economic plight the artist much face a constant attach against his freedom of expression.

Rockefeller Center, the Museum of Modern Art the Old Court House in St. Louis, the Coit Memorial Tower in San Francisco the Abraham Lincoln Hight School, Rikers Island Penitentiary - in these and other important public and semi-public institutions, suppression, censorship or actual destruction of art works has occurred.

Oaths of allegiance of teachers, investigations of colleges for radicalism, sedition bulls aimed at the suppression of civil liberties, discrimination against the foreign-born, against Negroes,, the reactionary Liberty League and similar organizations, Hearst journalism, etc., are daily reindeers of facets growth in the United States.

A picture of what fascism has done to living standards, to civil liberties, to workers' organizations, to science and art, the threat against the peace and security of the world, as shown in Italy and Germany, should arouse every sincere artist to action.

We artists must act. Individually we are powerless. Through collective action we can defend our interests. We must ally ourselves with all groups engaged in the common struggle against war and fascism.

There is need for an artists' organization on a nation-wide scale, which will deal with our cultural problems. The creation of sushi a permanent organization, which will be affiliated with kindred organizations throughout the world, is our task.

American Artists' Congress • Town Hall, New York City • February 14, 1936 • 8 P.M.



(*)   =  signers of the Call for American Artists' Congress, 1936

(**)  =  signers of the Call for American Artists' Congress, 1941

NOTE: artists who did not sign the call for AAC are listed below WITHOUT BOLD LETTERS


  • Berenice Abbott (*)

  • Yarnal Abbott (*)

    •  Ida York Abelman   (1910-2002)   [AAC member]
        • obituary

  • Albert Abramovitz   (1879-1963)   (*)

  • Harry Ackerman (*)

  • Bertrand Ruben Adams (*)

  • Kenneth M. Adams (*)

  • Lawerance Adams (*)

        Self Portrait, 1967
        Ivan Albright self portrait
        Self Portrait 1981

  • Ivan Albright  (*)  (1897-1983)
        • Self Portrait at 55 East Division St, 1947 litho

  • Rifkka Angel (*)

  • Alfons J. Angman (*)

  • Annot (*)

  • George Ault (*)

        Self Portrait, 1937
        Milton Avery Self Portrait circa 1939
        Self Portrait, c.1939

  • Milton Avery (*)   (1885-1965)


        peggy bacon self portrait 1937
          Self Portrait, 1934/37
        Off With Their Heads!

  • Peggy Bacon   (*)   (1895-1987)
        • NYer Cartoonists A-Z
        • Spirit of Rain, 1937, charcoal & pastel
        • Unseen Hands: Peggy Bacon
           Lady Artist (self port) 1925, etching

  • Phil Bard (*)

        Will Barnet Self-Portrait 1981
    Self Portrait, 1981

  • Will Barnett   (*)
        • National Medal of Arts

  • Herman Baron (*)

  • Thomas Weeks Barrett, Jr. (*)

  • Victor Basinet (*)

  • A. S. Baylinson (*)

  • Maurice Becker (*)

  • Norman Bell Geddes (*)

  • Ben Benn (*)

  • Ahron Ben-Shmuel (*)

  • E. M. Benson (*)

        Self Portrait

    • Thomas Hart Benton   (1889-1975)

  • Bernece Berkman (*)

  • Saul Berman (*)

  • Lucian Bernhard (*)

  • Henry Berstein (*)

  • Therasa Bernstein (*)

  • Jolan Gross Bettelheim (*)

  • Edward Biberman (*)

        George Biddle self portrait 1932
          Self Portrait, 1932

  • George Biddle (*)   (1885-1973)
    "Biddle's work was included in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Academy of Design, the Society of Independent Artists, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Colorado Springs Arts Center, the 1939 New York World's Fair, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Associated American Artists Gallery from 1940 to 1949. Biddle became a member of artist organizations at this time such as the American Artists Group, Inc.; the Muralist Guild; the Society of Painters, Gravers, and Sculptors; and participated in the first American Artists Congress in 1936." (D. Wigmore Fine Art)
    In 1943 he was appointed Chairman of the U.S. War Artists Committee and in 1950 was appointed to the Fine Arts Commission by President Truman.
        • Self Portrait, 1933
        • D. Wigmore Fine Art

  • Joseph Biel (*)

  • Henry Billings (*)

        Self Portrait
        sketchbook drawing

    •   Isabel Bishop   (1902-1988)

  • Emil Bisttram (*)

  • Arnold Blanch (*)

  • Lucile Blanch (*)

  • Lou Block (*)

    •   Hyman Bloom   (Latvia 1939-USA)

  • Peter Blume   (*) (**)
        • Magic Realism - A Time Capsule

  • Walter Bohanan (*)

  • Aaron Bohrod (*)

        Ilya Bolotowsky self portrait oil on canvas
        Self Portrait nd
      © Heckscher Museum of Art, NY

  • Ilya Bolotowsky (*)

  • Cameron Booth (*)

  • Henry Albert Botkin (*)

  • Louis Bouché (*)

        Bourke-White self portrait
        Self Portrait, 1943

  • Margaret Bourke-White   (*)
        • WWII: Women at War

  • Julian Bowes (*)

  • Ernest Brace (*)

  • Edith Bronson (*)

  • Alexander Brook (*)

  • Sonia Gordon Brown (*)

        Self Portrait, 1952
          wood engraving

    • Bernard Brussel-Smith   (1914-1989)
        • Conrad R. Graeber Fine Art

  • George Byron Browne  (*)  (1907-61)
        [ACC member]

  • Beniamino Bufano (*)

  • Jacob Burck (*)

  • Paul Burlin   (*)

  • Dorothy Randolph Byard (*)


        Self Portrait in Beret
        Paul Cadmus self portrait
          Paul Cadmus (1928)
            by Luigi Lucioni

  • Paul Cadmus   (1904-1999)   (*)
    "Paul Cadmus was an American artist. He is best known for his paintings and drawings of nude male figures. His works combined elements of eroticism and social critique to produce a style often called magic realism. He painted with egg tempera. . . In 1934 he painted The Fleet's In! while working for the Public Works of Art Project of the WPA. This painting, featuring carousing sailors, women, and a homosexual couple, was the subject of a public outcry and was removed from exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery. The publicity helped to launch his career. He worked in commercial illustration as well, but Jared French, another tempera artist who befriended him and became his lover for a time, convinced him to devote himself completely to fine art." - Wikipedia

    Paul Campus double self portrait
    Double Self-Portrait, 1990

        • Paul Cadmus at Carleton College Art Gallery
        • Tigertail Virtual Museum
        • Art Inconnu: Luigi Lucioni (1900-1988)

        alexander Calder self portriart 1968 wire sculpture
          Self Portrait, 1968

  • Alexander Calder   (*)

  • Kenneth Callahan   (*)

  • Florence Cane (*)

  • Frank Carson (*)

  • Dane Chanase (*)

  • Warren Cheney (*)

  • Nicolai Cikovsky (*)

  • Minna Citron (*)

    Cow charcoal drawing by Minna Citron
    Cow, 1938-40, charcoal
    Conrad R. Graeber Fine Art

  • Grace Clements ? (*)

  • Hy Cohen (*)

  • Sonya Cohen (*)

        Self Portrait, 1931
        collection of Scattergood-Moore

  • Howard N. Cook   (*)   (USA, 1901-1980)
    Howard Cook, an illustrator and printmaker, was a native of Massachusetts, studied at the Art Students League and Woodstock. In 1926, he became a resident of the Taos community where he worked in the 1930s
        • Self Portrait, 1950
        • Howard Cook Prints

  • Ralston Crawford (*)

  • Francis Criss   (*)

    The Paintings of Francis Criss joined the Works Progress Administration in 1935, working with Burgoyne Diller, Jan Matulka, and Stuart Davis on abstract murals for the Williamsburg Federal Housing Project in New York City. He was a charter member of the American Artists' Congress, organized in 1936 as a response to the Depression and the growth of fascism. He was also a founding member of the socially concerned "American Group" which included Philip Evergood, Jack Levine, and William Gropper. In 1938, he participated in the first exhibition of the World Alliance for Yiddish Culture along with Stuart Davis and Chaim Gross.

  • Robert M. Cronbach   (*)   (**)

  • Adelyne Schaefer Cross  (*)

  • Beatrice Cuming  (*)

  • John Cunningham  (*)

        Self Portrait, 1928

    • John Stuart Curry   (18997-1946)


  • Leon Dabo  (*)

  • Vincent D'Agostino  (*)

  • Gustaf Dalstrom  (*)

  • Morris Davidson  (*)

  • Helen S. Davis  (*)

  • Lew E. Davis (*)

        Stuart Davis self portrait
        Self Portrait, 1919
        © Amon Carter Museum

  • Stuart Davies   (*)   (1894-1964)

    Stuart Davies worked for the Federal Art Project in the 1930s and became involved in the art politics of the Depression, being elected president of the Artists' Union established to combat discrimination in the distribution of public funds to artists. In 1936 he was one of the founder members of the American Artists' Congress but resigned disillusioned four years later.
        • biography

  • Horace Talmadge Day (*)

  • Alice Decker (*)

  • Jose De Craft (*)

  • Julio De Diego (*)

  • Adolph Dehn   (*)   (**)
        • Rain at Semmering, 1936, lithograph

  • Phyllis De Lappe (*)

  • Joseph De Martini (*)

        Self Portrait (detail)

    • Charles Demuth   (1883-1935)

        Self Portrait, 1949
        National Academy of Design

    •   Edwin Dickinson   (1891-1978)
        • Artists Online

  • Nathaniel Dirk (*)

  • Isami Doi (*)

  • Thomas Donnelly  (*)

  • Aaron Douglas  (*)

  • Milton Doouthat (*)

  • Ed Dreis (*)

  • Werner Drewes  (*)   (1899-1985)
        A.A.C. member, 1936

    Werner Drewes Sunset color woodcut 1968
    Maine Sunset, 1969, color woodcut
    Conrad R. Graeber Fine Art
        • Rain, 1959 woodcut
        • Sunset in Castine, 1968, color woodcut
        • Empire State Building and Church, 1931, etching

  • Margaret Duroc (*)

  • Mabel Dwight   (1875-)  (*)
    During the Depression, Dwight participated in the art programs of the New Deal's Works Progress Administration (WPA), but she also produced anti-fascist images and works that railed against capitalist war profiteers. In 1935, she was among the first 17 women to support the American Artists' Congress against the spread of fascism.
        • Winter Central Park, 1931, lithograph
        • General Theological Seminary, 1936, lithograph
        • Self Portrait, 1932, lithograph
        • NWWA: Profile of Mabel Dwight


  • Stuart Edie (*)

  • Camilo Egas (*)

  • Dorothy Eisner (*)

  • Paula Eliasoph (*)

  • Charles Ellis (*)

  • Arthur Emptage (*)

        Philip Evergood, Self Portrait
        Self Portrait, 1960

  • Philip Evergood     (*) (**)   (1901-1973)
    Evergood was a member of the American Artists Congress; Artists Union (president); United American Artists; Artists Committee of Action, Artists League of America; American Society of Painters, Sculptors and Gravers; An America Group; National society of Mural Painters; Artists Equity Association (founding member), etc.
    press cursor over image
    Evergood and Scattergood
    Philip Evergood
    Me and My Dog   1961
    lithograph poster [edition of 50]
    collection of Scattergood-Moore

    Me and My Maine Coon Cat   c.1985
    Ebony pencil on paper
    (whereabouts unknown)

        • Philip Evergood on artnet
        • Wikipedia
        • Oxford Gallery


  • William Sanders Fanning (*)

  • Lorser Feitelson (*)

  • Duncan Ferguson (*)

  • Louise Ferstadt (*)

  • Earl T. Fields (*)

  • Ernest Fiene (*)

  • Furman J. Finck (*)

  • Peter Fiordalisi (*)

        Self Portrait

  • Edward Fisk   (*)   USA (1886 -1944)

    In November 1935, Fisk reestablished his ties with progressive, politically active artists when his work was included in the group exhibition of the American Artists' Congress held at the ACA Gallery in New York. [70] Eighty-eight artists participated in the exhibition which was organized by Fisk's long-time friend Stuart Davis, executive secretary of the Congress and who later served as the group's national chairman. Davis wrote in the exhibition brochure that:

    ". . . . the purpose of this exhibition, held by the sponsors of the Call for an American Artists' Congress, has as its primary function, the raising of funds to help finance the Congress [which will be dedicated] against Fascism and War and for the Defense of Culture. . . ."

    The exhibition preceded the formal opening of the Congress, which was staged at the New School for Social Research in New York City in February 1936. [71] Fisk was among the original signers for the call against war and fascism, joining over 480 artists from across the United States and Mexico. It was a large, broad-based alliance of artists who were aimed:

    ". . . to achieve unity of action among artists of recognized standing in their profession on all issues which concern their economic and cultural security and freedom, and to fight War Fascism and Reaction, destroyers of art and culture." [72]

    Two years later, in June 1938, Fisk traveled to New York City to visit with friends and see exhibitions. At Davis's invitation, Fisk attended the Federal Art Project dinner at Town Hall and later accompanied him to see his mural Swing Landscape hanging in Federal Art Projects' Murals for the Community at the Federal Art Gallery. [73]

    "I had an interesting time at the Federal Art dinner that was held at the Town Hall, Stuart Davis dragged me to it. It was a great success, speeches over the radio by heads of various projects. . . . It was very very impressive and very stimulating to me. . . The evening was devoted to "Art in Democracy" - Many well known political figures in N.Y.Cy. spoke. The mayor was absent but had a representative. There seems to be a tremendous interest in what is being done here. Stuart's mural that is on exhibition in the Federal Art Gallery on 57th St. Is stunning and is one of the most objective abstractions that I have seen. It fairly sings in its gorgeous color spacing. I was really carried off my feet. It made the rest of the work look like enlarged drawings or illustrations. That boy has something." [74]

    70. Exhibition: American Artists' Congress, ACA Gallery, 52 West 8th Street, New York City, November 10-23, 1935. The exhibition brochure lists exhibited artists, not specific works.
    71. First American Artists Congress, Town Hall and New School for Social Research, New York City, February I4-16, 1936. The Congress mounted large exhibitions and produced traveling shows: sponsored lectures and symposia; pressed the U.S. Congress to establish a permanent Bureau of Fine Arts; counseled museums to pay rental fees to exhibited artists; and joined with other groups in advancing legislation favorable to the growth of the arts in America.
    72. See papers published in Erst American Art-k.& Congress (New York: American Artists Congress, I 936); reprinted in Artists Agakt W&-and Fasck-m. Papers of the Fii-st American Artists Congress, Matthew Baigell and Julia Williams, eds., (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1986). Fisk-s membership card is in the Edward Fisk papers, Fisk family archives.
    73. Federal Art Projects- Murals for the Communip, Federal Art Gallery, 225 West 57th Street, New York City, May 24-June 15, 1938. Swing Time was painted for the Williamsburg Housing Project in Brooklyn, but never installed. Davis's seven by four-teen foot oil on canvas is presently in the collection of the Indiana University Art Museum in Bloomington.
    74. Letter from Edward Fisk written June I938 to his wife Lucy Spalding Fisk. Edward Fisk papers, Fisk family archives

    A Modern Life

  • Eugene C. Fitsch (*)

  • Frank Fleming (*)

  • Angel Flores (*)

  • Hans Foy (*)

  • Karl Free (*)

  • Maurice Freedman (*)

  • Arnold Friedman (*)


        Wanda Gag self portrait with cat
          Self-Portrait with Cat

  • Wanda Gag (*)   (1893-1946)

    Wanda Hazel Gag was a pioneering female illustrator and printmaker during the 1920's and 30's. She was born in 1893 in New Ulm, Minnesota, to parents whose immigrated from Bohemia. She fled her midwest home to New York on an Art Student's League scholarship in 1918. She lived in the city and also in more rural areas on the east coast, producing pictures of nature and of simple domestic interiors. She referred to herself as a "gypsy" and dressed in comfortable, peasant-style clothing. She published "Millions of Cats" in 1928 and is known as an author and illustrator of children books. She described three passions, in order of their importance to her: art, sex, and growing things.

    Wanda Gag's lithographs have a strong stylistic relationship to the lithos of Thomas Hart Benton; they also have stylistic and thematic similarities (especially regarding nature and animal motifs) with the artwork of Heller West Heller: see Gag's zinc plate lithograph, Winter Twilight, of 1927 and Heller's wood-engraving and oil painting, Intersection of Three Streets, of 1929. They were both young women when they left their midwestern families to pursue an education and career in the visual arts in New York City; they were primarily printmakers and illustrators; they were free thinkers, and politically and socially liberals who contributed to socialist publications, including "The Liberator" and "New Masses"; they both signed the Call for an American Artist's Congress. There were differences between these creative women, of course, it is not known and very unlikely they developed a friendship during their years living in NYC.

    ""Gag was free thinking, and politically and socially liberal, far ahead of her time. She presaged women's rights and feminism, sexual liberation, and the back-to-nature movements by almost fifty years. . . All of Gag's prints and drawings, and even the few oil paintings she made, are created with flowing, curved lines, and the spaces between objects appear to be as important as the objects themselves. Her interiors use intense contrasts of light and shadow, and even inanimate objects like furniture and buildings seem capable of movement. Almost all of Gag's art is black and white, stressing. . . Gag contributed drawings to numerous exhibitions supporting labor, union movements, and responses to totalitarianism and aggression in the years between the World Wars. Like many of the younger artists she met in New York, Gag's illustrations appeared in socialist publications like The Liberator and New Masses. As a result, she and other artists were watched by the government, and she has an extensive FBI file as a result." - Draw to Live and LIve to Draw

        • Keith Sheridan Fine Prints
            Year Of Our Lord
            Checkborad, 1930
    Weyhe Gallery exhibition catalogue: 16 pages (stapled wraps) with 7 original relief prints, a chronological list of Gag's etchings, lithographs, and woodcuts, a lengthy biography, and a list of books illustrated by the artist. The original prints are: Skunk Cabbage, Cats at the Window, Book Case, Departure, Paper Cutter, Kitchen Shelf, and Rotary Press. These prints were not editioned, with the exception of Cats at the Window, Departure, and Kitchen Shelf.   $750.
        • Minnesota Historical Society
            photos and artworks
        • Artline: Essays on Wanda Gag
        • The Old Print Shop
        • Smithsonian Institute
            Country Road, 1925, linocut
        • sketch for Tumble Timbers, ink on paper
        • Tumble Timbers, lithograph
        • wanda gag on Myspace
        • Black and White (A.E.G. Nydam )
        • Carleton Art Gallery
        • Unseen Hands: Wanda Gag

  • Todros Geller (*)

        Self Portrait ca 1918

  • Hugo Gellert   (*)   (1892-1985)

    Gellert organized and delivered the keynote address at First American Artists Congress (Fascism, War and the Artists) in 1936 and in 1937 organized the Mural Artists Guild of the United Scenic Painters, AFL-CIO in 1937. He addressed the second session of Artist's Congress. In the 1938s he painted murals for the Communications Building in the New York World's Fair and from 1939 to 1941 was active in organizing artists; he was chairman of the committee of delegates of 16 artists' societies that exhibited 1500 paintings, sculpture and graphics from all 48 states at the New York World's Fair. He served on the board as chairman of Artists for Defense and after Pearl Harbor, started organizing Artists for Defense into Artists for Victory, an organization that eventually included 10,000 members.   Graphic Witness

    The Working Day, no 37, ca. 1933, lithograph features a white miner standing back to back with a black industrial worker. The print is part of the portfolio Karl Marx' 'Capital' in Lithographs that Gellert published in France in 1933 with text from Marx's Das Kapital, which reads in part, "Labor with a white skin cannot emancipate itself where labor with a black skin is branded."
    The Art and Activism of Hugo Gellert
    History of a Controversy
    Keith Sheridan

    Hugo Gellert wounded strike and soldier
    Wounded Striker & Soldier 1936, Lithograph
    An "American Artists Congress" print
    illustrated in "Commemorative Exhibition
    of the 50th Anniversary of
    the American Artists Congress, 1936-1942"
    ACA Galleries, N.Y. 1986

  • Eugenie Gershoy (*)

  • Lydia Gibson (*)

    •   Julio Girona   (b.1914)
        Named Honoured Guest of the American Artists
        Congress for his remarkable labor as against-fascism
        • Obras de Julio Girona

  • C. Adolph Glassgold (*)

        Henry Glintenkamp self portrait
          Self Portrait, nd

  • Henry Glintenkamp   (*)  (**)
        National chairperson of American Artists'
        Congress, 1941
        • Glintenkamp and the Ashcan School

  • Aaron Goodelman (*)

  • Boris Gorelick (*)

  • Mordecai Gorelick (*)

    •   Arshile Gorky

        Adolph  Gottlieb self portrait 1928
          Self Portrait, 1928

  • Adolph Gottlieb   (*)   (1903-1974)
        • Gottlieb Foundation

  • Harry Gottlieb   (*)

  • John D. Graham   (*) Russia 1886 - England 1961
        • Smithsonian American Art Museum

  • Blanche Mary Grambs   (*)   (b. 1916)

  • Dorothea Schwarcz Greenbaum (*)

  • Grace Greenwood (*)

  • Marion Greenwood (*)

  • Waylande Gregory (*)

        William Gropper Self portrait
        Self Portrait, 1939

  • William Gropper   (*) (**)   (b. 1897)
        • NYer Cartoonists A-Z

  • Chaim Gross   (*)   (1904-1991)

        John Groth Self portrait 1939
          Self Portrait, 1939

  • John Groth (*)

  • Bernar Gussow (*)

  • James Guy (*)

    •   Robert Gwathmey   (1903-1988)

    Born in Virginia in 1903, Gwathmey was a member of the Artists Union, Artists Equity in New York City, and the American Artists Congress, Gwathmey participated in the social movements of the Left and joined the Communist party in the 1930s.
        • Rural Home Front, 1943, color screenprint


  • Alex Haberstroh (*)

  • Thomas Handforth (*) (1897-1948)

    Thomas Handforth, Leda and the Swan
    Leda and the Swan   etching & drypoing
    collection of Scattergood-Moore

  • Murray Hantman (*)

  • Minna Harkavy (*)

  • Louis Harris (*)

  • Abraham Harriton (*)

        George Hart self portrait etching
        Happy Days (self portrait) 1925
        Gonrad R. Graeber Fine Art

    • George Overbury "Pop" Hart (1868-1933)

  • Bertram Hartman (*)

    •   Marsden Hartley

  • Theodore G. Haupt (*)

  • Alonzo Hauser (*)

  • Zoltan Hecht (*)

  • Albert Heckman (*)

        cartoon on Helen West Heller
        cartoon of Helen West Heller
        The Parade of Chicago Artists
        To The Cubist Ball
    , 1923
          poster by Emil Armin

  • Helen West Heller   (1872-1955)     (**)
        aka Helena (Hellen) S. Barnhart

    helen west heller untitled self portrait, pen and ink 1914
    untitled (self portrait?), 1914
    source: Illinois Heritage Magazine

    Seasons (self portrait), 1948, woodcut
    collection of Scattergood-Moore

    During the last two and a half decades of her life Helen West Heller produced over six hundred woodcuts which established her as a major American print-maker. Exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum and Columbia University won her widespread recognition and institutions such as the Library of Congress and Brooklyn Museum acquired her prints. Unfortunately like many other women artists before the 1970s, Helen West Heller was nearly forgotten, accept for the writings of Dr. Ernest Harms who wrote an important appreciation of her prints, Helen West Heller - The Woodcutter for the Print Collector's Quarterly. April 1942, and an article on her life, Dark to Light: An appreciation of the life work of Helen West Heller, 1872-1955, for American Artist, November 1957.

    Helen West Heller Murder At A Doorway woodcut engraving 1932
    Murder At A Doorway, 1932
    wood-engraving, 2 x 3 7/8 inches
    2012 © collection of Scattergood-Moore

    Although Heller was not a member or signer of the 1936 Congress, her print Reforestation - the central panel in her triptych American Soil - was shown in the group exhibition and illustrated in America Today: A Book of 100 Prints, published by Equinox Cooperative Press.

    Five years later, Helen West Heller signed the Call for American Artists' Congress in 1941.

    Following her death in 1955, Heller was buried with funds provided by the New York City Welfare Department and Artists' Equity, in a small unmarked plot in New Jersey. No members of her family, including her estranged and mentally unstable husband attended the funeral; the same year, Dr. Ernest Harms donated over 180 woodcuts of Heller's woodcuts to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY - there is no record that these extraordinary prints were ever publicly exhibited by the museum - same on this American institution - who during this period were more interested in purchasing and promoting "fake" foreign antiques.
    "Helen West Heller has lived the life of a full blooded personality striving and fighting for an artistic ideal . . . Far too little is known even among artists about this amazing woman."
    Dr. Ernst Harms
        • Smithsonian Institution
    Rustic Sounds, linoleum cut, 1949
    Woodcuts, U.S.A. by Helen West Heller
       intro. by John Taylor Arms, 1947
    • Helen West Heller, 1872-1955 [Folder]
       Folder(s) may include exhibition
       announcements, newspaper and/or
       magazine clippings, press releases,
       brochures, reviews, invitations,
       illustrations, resumes, artist's statements,
       exhibition catalogs.
       Location: Art & Artist files at the
       Smithsonian American Art Museum/
       National Portrait Gallery Library,
       Smithsonian Institution Libraries
    • Fay Gold papers, 1924-1979
    • H. Bella Schaeffer papers, 1941-1974
    • Benjamin K. Smith papers relating to
       O'Brien Galleries, 1912-1941
    • Brooklyn Museum records, 1823-1963
    • Onya La Tour papers, 1928-1969
    • Richard Ederheimer papers, 1892-1959
    • Albert Reese letters, 1946-1949
        Wordpress: Helen West Heller
        • The Art of Woodcut
        • Migratory Urge poems & woodcuts
        • Woodcuts USA
        • Print Dealers
        • Helen West Heller Timeline   (artwork)
        • A Strange Story
        • Roger Paul Heller
        • New Masses slideshow
        • A Prickly Personality
        • Helen West Heller at
        • Find a Grave: Helen West Heller
        • studies for a mural of Children at Work and Play
        • Black and White: Helen West Heller
        • Modernism in the New City: Chicago
        • Illinois Women Artist Project
        • Illinois Historical Art Project

  • Harry Hering (*)

  • Eugene Higgins (*)

  • Hilaire Hiler (*)

    •   Joseph Hirsch   (1910-1981)

  • Stefan Hirsch (*)

  • Albert Hirschfeld (*)

  • Carl Hoeckner (*)

  • Carl R. Holty (*)

  • Emil Holzauer (*)

    • Edward Hopper   (1882-1967)

  • John Langley Howard (*)

  • Loretta Howard (*)

  • Leo T. Hurwitz (*)


  • Eitaro Ishigaki (*)


  • Rudolf Jacobi (*)

  • Herbert Kent Jennings (*)

  • Grace Mott Johnson (*)

  • Mary O. Johnson (*)

  • Sargent Claude Johnson (*)

        Self Portrait, 1929

    • William H. Johnson  

  • Harry Donald Jones (*)

  • Joe Jones (*)

  • Mervin Jules   (*)


  • Jacob Kainen    (*)   (1909-2001)
        American Artists' Congress, 1st exhibition, 1936.
        • Pedestrians, 1955, drypoint

  • Louis Kamm   (*)

  • Martha Ryther Kantor   (*)

        Self Portrait, 1918

  • Morris Kantor   (*)   (USA, 1896-1974)

  • Philip Kaplan   (*)

  • Sam Karp   (*)

  • Leo Katz   (*)

  • Irving Katzenstein   (*)

  • Valeria Kaun   (*)

        Self Portrait, 1934
        lithograph from "It's Me O Lord"

  • Rockwell Kent   (*)   (1882-1971)
    Born in Tarrytown, New York, Rockwell Kent's artistic education included architecture studies at Columbia University, painting at the Shinnecock School, and printmaking under artists of the Ashcan School. While most famously a landscape painter and printmaker, Kent was also a political activist. Kent created prints for politically charged magazines and contributed illustrations for American literary classics including Moby Dick. Rockwell Kent was a supporter and participant in innumerable unions and causes, such as the International Workers Order and the American Artists' Congress.

        • Rockwell Kent
        • The Enigmatic Grandeur of Rockwell Kent
        • Collecting Rockwell Kent
        • Smithsonian Magazine, Aug 2000
        • The Private Library
        • ART "4" "2" -DAY

  • Frank C. Kirk   (*)

  • Jerome Klein   (*)

  • Otto Karl Knaths   (*)   (1891-1971)
    Knaths was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He studied at the Milwaukee Art Institute and the Art Institute of Chicago.
    "In 1919, he settled for the rest of his life in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Building his own house, he lived simply and modestly while earning a distinctive national reputation. In his unique Cubism he combined subtle color, varying textures and arbitrary shapes. He was one of the original exhibitors with American Abstract Artists in 1937. . ."
  • Frederic Knight   (b. 1898)   (*)
        • Johnson City Murals

  • Benjamin Kopman   (*)

  • Eve Kottbgen   (*)

  • Yankel Kufeld   (*)

        Yasuo Kuniyoshi self portrait 1927
        Self Portrait, 1927

  • Yasuo Kuniyoshi   (*)
    Japan, 1889 - New York City, 1953)

    Yasuo Kuniyoshi self portrait as photographer 1925
    Self Portrait as Photographer 1924
    oil painting on canvas
    © Metropolitan Museum of Art
    Yasuo Kuniyoshi Torture US propaganda poster for Office of War Information
    Torture US WWII propaganda poster
    for Office of War Information

    Japanese/American painter Kuniyoshi was a native of Japan, born in Okayama, and came to the United States with his family in 1906. He received artistic training at the Los Angeles School of Art, and after 1910, moved to New York where he attended the National Academy of Design, the Robert Henri School, the Independent School, and the Art Students League. He was infuenced by the works of "Pop" Hart and Jules Pascin. In the 1920s he visited Paris and spent several summers in Ogunquit, Maine before designing and building a studio on Ohayo Mountain in Woodstock, New York where he would spend summers the remainder of his life. [source:]
        • Covertress



  • L

  • Chet Harmon La More   (*)

        Armin Landeck self portrait shaving mirror 1942 etching
        Self Portrait in Shaving
    , 1942, etching

    • Armin Landeck   (1905-1984)

  • Edward A. Landon   (*)

  • Edward Laning   (*)

  • Adelaide J. Lawson   (*)

    • Blanche Lazzell   (1879-1956)
        • Wikipedia

    • Rico Lebrun   (Italy 1900 - USA 1964)

  • Myron Lechay   (*)

  • Doris Lee   (*)

    artists' sketchbook online by scattergood-moore
  • Margaret Lefranc   (*)

    Lefranc established the Guild Art Gallery at 37 West 57th Street, New York City in 1931/32, where she showed the works of American artists [ Arshile Gorky, Lloyd Ney, Marsden Hartley, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and Chaim Gross], and was a signer of the 1st American Artists' Congress and hosted the congress exhibits for two years.

    •   Clare Leighton   (UK, 1898 - US, 1989)
        • Unseen Hands: Clair Leighton
        • Mattatuck Museum

    •   Michael Lenson  (1903-1971)

  • Julien E. Levi   (*)

    •   Jack Levine

  • A. F. Levinson   (*)

    •   Martin Lewis   (1881-1962)

  • Lewis Jean LIberte   (*)

  • russell Limbach   (*)

  • Sidney Loeb   (*)

  • John Lonergan   (*)

  • Erle Loran   (*)

  • Barbara Lotham   (*)

  • Margaret Lowengrund   (*)

        Self Portrait

  • Louis Lozowick   (1892-1973)   (*)

    Lozowick was born in Russia and studied at the Kiev Art School. He came to New York in 1906 and studied at the National Academy of Design. . He graduated from Ohio State University in 1918 and then went to Europe where he was influenced by the Constructivists, De Stijl and Bauhaus philosophies. He served on the editorial board of the New Masses and was in the graphics division of the New York City WPA from 1934 to 1940. His lithographic work featured his interest in the repetitious form of windows, pipes, towers, tanks and smokestacks of the factories, skyscrapers and bridges of New Jersey and New York   [adapted from: Dr. Leslie Project]

  • Eugene Ludins   (*)

  • Ryah Ludins   (*)

        Double Portrait of the Artist in Time, 1935

  • Helen Lundeberg   (1908-1999)   (*)

    Born in Chicago, Lundeberg moved to Pasadena, California at the age of four. In 1930 she studied art at the Stickney School of Art in Pasadena, where she was influenced by her teacher, Lorser Feitelson, whom she later married. In 1933 they co-founded an art movement called 'New Classicism' or 'Post-Surrealism.' Lundeberg wrote its first theoretical manifesto the following year. She did realistic mural and easel projects for the Federal Art Project from 1933-1942, while continuing to do more experimental work privately. In 1936, she, along with others involved in her movement held shows in New York's Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.

      • ArtCentral | Self-Portrait 28 x 20" 1933
      • New Deal Mural
      • PDF: Double Portrait of the Artist...

    When Helen Lundeberg painted Double Portrait of the Artist in Time, she was interested in painting "surreal" pictures that had an air of mystery about them. She wanted her pictures to make the impossible book possible, to appear sensible and logical even though the situation they depicted was not at all believable. Becuase of her thoughtful introspective style, Lundeberg was called a "poet among painters."

    artists' sketchbook online by scattergood-moore
        George B. Luks self portrait, pencil drawing
        Self Portrait, nd

    • George B. Luks   (1867-1933)
    "At the turn of the 20th century, cities across America were booming. The influx of immigrants, rapid technological advancements, and changing social stratification had paved the way for a dramatically different country to emerge, which New York City in many ways epitomized. A group of artists gained prominence during this period by pulling their inspiration from the new aesthetics of America's evolving face, particularly the urbanization that had, until then, been largely invisible within the art world. For the most part, these artists replaced genteel portraits and depictions of aristocratic pursuits with intimate illuminations of the cogs that turned the city-the gritty or quietly tender workings of day-to-day-life; urban dwellers struggling to prosper; and grime, garbage, and fleeting moments of joy.

    The artists who most defined this period of American art were known as both The Eight and the Ashcan School. The Eight is a historical term that refers to one specific show at the Macbeth Galleries, in New York City, that exhibited the work of:

      • Robert Henri (1865-1929)
      • George B. Luks (1866-1933)
      • William Glackens (1870-1938)
      • John Sloan (1871-1951)
      • Everett Shinn (1876-1953)
      • Maurice Prendergast (1858-1924)
      • Ernest Lawson (1873-1939)
      • Arthur Bowen Davies (1862-1928)

    by Edith Zimmerman
    Beyond Drawing Basics
        • Artists' Sketchbooks Online
        • Plaza 57: Self-sketches by George Luks
        • Self-portrait, 1893, graphite

  • Gwen Lux   (*)


  • Peppino Gino Mangravite   (*)
    (Italy, 1896 - USA, 1978)

    American Artists Congress
    illustration by Peppino Mangravite
    Aesthetic Freedom and the Artist' Congress
    American Magazine of Art, Vol. 29 #4 April 1936

    Mangravite was born on the island of Lipari off Sicily in a small penal colony for political prisoners and immigrated to New York City in 1923 and moved to Washington DC in 1924.
    "He began the study of art from a prisoner artist. After moving to New York in 1914 he studied at Cooper Union and then entered the Arts Students League under the instruction of Robert Henri. Most of his canvases were completed in one day after weeks and weeks of preparation. There is an extreme lyrical movement to all his works. Though the depression years as well as World War II were subjects of many of his works, his overlying theme however was that, 'the creative spirit of man cannot be destroyed'."  SVAM Exhibit
    He was a member of the Board of Directors of Artists Equity Association in New York City in the late 1940s and early 50s. He taught at a number schools (inculding D.H.) in the 1950s and was head of the art department at Sara Lawrence.

        • Archives of American Art
        • Smithonian Institution
        • Tomorrow's Bread, nd, lithograph
        • American Revolutions
           Other Side of Modern 1900-45

  • Abraham Manievich   (*)

  • Helen Mann   (*)

  • Paul Manship   (*)

  • Berta Margoulies   (*)

  • Herman Maril   (*)

  • Jack Markow   (*)

    •   Xavier Tizoc Martinez y Orozco
    (Mexico 1869 - USA 1943)

  • Jan Matulka   (*)

    •   David McCosh   (1903-1981)
          American Artists Congress Show,
                            Portland Art Museum, 1937

  • Austin Mecklem   (*)

  • Joseph Meart   (*)

  • Paul R. Meltsner   (*)

  • Maurice Merlin   (*)

  • Knud Merrild   (*)

  • William Meyerowitz   (*)

  • Edward Millman   (*)

  • Winifred Millius   (*)

  • Florence Minard   (*)

  • David Mintz   (*)

  • Bruce MItchell   (*)

  • Ross Moffett   (*)

  • Peter Paul Mommer   (*)

  • Barbara Brooks Morgan   (*)

  • Eugene Morley   (*)

  • Peter Muller-Munk   (*)

    •   Mary Mullineux

  • Lewis Munford   (*)

  • Helen McAuslin   (*)

  • Miriam McKinnie   (*)

    •   M. Lois Murphy   (1901-1962)


  • Thomas Nagai   (*)

  • Reuben Nakian   (*)

  • Willard A. Nash   (*)

  • Barney Nestor   (*)

  • J. B. Neumann   (*)

    •   Lloyd Ney

  • Isamu Noguchi   (*)


  • Paul O'Higgins   (*)

  • Elisabeth Olds   (1896-1991)   (*)

  • Moses Oley   (*)

  • Raymond O'Neill   (*)

  • John Opper   (*)
    "I thought the Thirties was a very vital time for American art . . . With the WPA, you got together whether it was the [Artists'] Union or the [American Artists'] Congress or whether it was a bar . . . and you talked about art, and you heard about important artists, and you began to live art."

        Self Portrait (detail)

    •   José Clemente Orozco   (Mexico, 1883-1949)
        • Self Portrait

  • Sam Ostrowsky   (*)

  • Peter Pual Ott   (*)

  • William Owen   (*)


    • Margaret Jordan Patterson
    (Indonesia, 1867 - Boston USA 1950)
        • Find a Grave: Margaret J. Patterson

  • Jose M. Pavon   (*)

  • Ralph Pearson   (*)

  • Anne Merriman Peck   (*)

  • Augustus Hamilton Peck   (*)

    •   Irene Rice Pereira   (1907-1971)

    Pereira was involved with the United American Artists, American Artists' Congress, and Artists' League of America; she was a founder and teacher of the Design Laboratory for the WPA's Federal Art Project, where she taught from 1935 to 1939.

  • Fritz Pfeiffer   (*)

  • Esther Phillips   (*)

  • Girolamo Piccoli   (*)

  • George Picken   (*)

  • Hobson Pittman   (*)

  • Joseph Pollet   (*)

        Fairfield Porter self portrait
          Self Portrait 1972

  • Fairfield Porter (*)   (1907-1975)

  • Austin Purves, Jr.   (*)


  • Walter Quirt   (*)


  • Saul Raskin   (*)

  • A. Redfield   (*)

  • Anton Refregier   (1905-1979)   (*)

  • Bertram Reibel   (*)

        Diego Rivera self portrait
        Self Portrait

    • Diego Rivera (Mexico, 1886-1957)
        • Olga's (ABC) Gallery

  • Philip Reisman   (*)

  • Louis Ribak   (*)

  • Maurice Ritman   (*)

  • Boardman Robinson   (*)

  • Gilbert Rocke   (*)

  • Kurt Roesch   (*)

  • Robert Bruce Rogers   (*)

  • Elsa Rogo   (*)

  • Emanuele Romano   (*)

  • Arnold Ronnebeck   (*)

  • Doris Rosenthal   (*)

  • Theodore Jay Roszak   (*)

        Mark Rothko self portrait 1936
        Self Portrait, 1936

    •   Mark Rothko   (1903-1970)
    "At the end of 1934 Rothko participated in an exhibition at the Gallery Secession, whose members included Louis Harris, Adolph Gottlieb, Ilya Bolotowsky, and Joseph Solman; several months later these artists formed their own group, the Ten, which exhibited together eight times between 1935 and 1939. Rothko's paintings in the Ten's exhibitions were expressionist in style. During this period he worked in the easel division of the WPA (Works Progress Administration), a federally-sponsored arts project." - RasMarley
  • Lincoln Rothschild   (*)

  • Andree Ruellan   (*)


  • William Sanger   (*)

  • Leo Sarkadi   (*)

  • Concetta Scaravaglione   (*)

        Meyer Schapiro  portrait by Alice Neel
        Meyer Schapiro
         by Alice Neel

  • Meyer Schapiro   (*)   (1914-1996)
    "A lifelong socialist -- Schapiro joined the Brownsville Young Peoples socialist League in 1916 - Schapiro's interest in Marxist politics deepened during the Depression, when he became actively involved in the left. During the early 1930s he was close to the Communist Party, an active member of the John Reed Clubs, and a founder of the American Artists Congress. . . Schapiro resigned from the American Artists Congress in 1939 to protest against the Hitler-Stalin Pact, and went on to found the rival Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors. . . " - Solidarity
    In the late 1920s, Schapiro became a supporter of the Communist Party and was active in its cultural organizations, the John Reed clubs and the First American Artists' Congress, at which he read an important paper, "The Social Bases of Art" (1936).

    That year, however, also marked the beginning of a political evolution on Schapiro's part under the influence of Leon Trotsky's fight against the Stalinist perversion of Marxism. He joined the editorial board of the anti-Stalinist Marxist Quarterly (to which he contributed a seminal essay in 1937, "Nature of Abstract Art"), endorsed the American Committee for the Defense of Leon Trotsky and, after the Stalin-Hitler pact in 1939, led a major breakaway from the Stalinist-controlled Artists' Congress. The program of Schapiro's group was largely based on a manifesto on revolutionary art that Trotsky and Surrealist poet Andre Breton had issued a year earlier. In the factional struggle that split the Socialist Workers Party, then the American Trotskyist movement, in 1939-40, Schapiro--although he never joined the party--was one of the few intellectuals who sympathized with the proletarian majority led by James Cannon
        • Marxist Art Historian
        • Meyer Schapiro by Alice Neel

  • Saul Schary   (*)

  • Katherine Schmidt   (*)

  • Arthur Julian Schneider   (*)

  • Georges Schreiber   (*) (**)

  • Alfred A. Sessler   (*)

  • Charles Sheeler   (**)

        ben shahn self portrait
          Self Portrait

  • Ben Shahn  (Russia 1892 - USA 1969   (*)

    Ben Shahn, Martin Luther King, Jr
    Martin Luther King, Jr

    Ben Shahn Sacco and Vanzetti
    Sacco and Vanzetti

  • Frederick E. Shane   (*)

  • Louis Shanker   (*)

  • Joseph M. Sheridan   (*)

  • William Siegel   (*)

  • Bernice Singer   (*)

  • William Earl Singer   (*)

  • Mitchell Siporin   (*)   (1910-1976)
    Mitchell Siporin Worker's Family 1937
    Workers Family 1937 woodcut
        • Modernism in the New City
        • A Gift to Biro-Bidjan: Chicago, 1937
    "The revival of the woodcut as a graphic medium started in the late 19th century. Artists like Paul Gauguin and Edvard Munch transformed the woodcut from a narrative illustration into a tool to express individual ideas. They experimented with the wooden block to produce textures and tones that were more dramatic. This trend continued into the 20th century with the emergence of German Expressionism. . . Graphic works also had a solid tradition in the history of Jewish art. Jews used calligraphy to scribe in accordance with certain stylistic rules. . .

    David Alfaro Siqueiros Self Portrait
        Self Portrait

    • David Alfaro Siqueiros (Mexico 1896 - 1974)
    David Alfaro Siqueiros self portrait mural
    Self Portrait (El Coronelazo), 1945
    based on this photograph

        • Olga's (ABC) Gallery
        • NGA: Self Portraits
        • Drawing Life

  • Clara Skinner   (*)

  • Jean Paul Slussser   (*)

  • David Smith   (*)

  • Jacob Getlar Smith   (*)

  • Miron Sokole   (*)

  • Serge Soudeikine   (*)

  • Moses Soyer   (*)

  • Raphael Soyer   (*)   (**)

  • Walt Speck   (*)

  • Niles Spencer   (*)

  • Max Spivak   (*)

  • Benton Spruance   (*)

  • Maxwell B. Starr   (*)

  • Alexander Stavenitz   (*)

  • William Steig   (*)   (**)

  • Ralph Steiner   (*)

  • Joseph Stella   (*)

  • Algot Stenbery   (*)

  • Harry Sternberg   (1904-2001)   (*)

    Sternberg had watched the deteriorating political situation in Europe with mounting horror since the early 1930s, and campaigned against fascism as an active member of the American Artists' Congress. His personal fears of the rise of European fascism were justified; most of his mother's family, who were Hungarian Jews, died in the Holocaust.

    •   Ary Stillman   (1891-1967)
        Exhibited with 1937, '38, '39 Artists' Congress
        • Stillman art works

  • Louis King Stone   (*)

  • Paul Strand   (*)

  • Jay Sutton   (*)

  • Sakari Suzuki   (*)

  • James Johnson Sweeney   (*)

  • Sam Swerdloff   (*)


    • Rufino Tamayo (Mexico, 1899-1991)

  • Chuzo Tamotzu   (*)

  • Rudolph F. Tandler   (*)

  • Jack W. Taylor   (*)

  • Prentiss Taylor   (*)

  • Eve D. Teitel   (*)

  • E. Oscar Thalinger   (*)

  • Cleon Throckmorton   (*)

  • Jennings Tofel   (*)

  • Morris Topchevsky   (*)

  • Abram Tromka   (*)

  • Ernest Sergei Trubach   (*)

        tschacbasov self portrait 1937
          Self Portrait, 1937

  • Tschacbasov    (*)   (1899-1984)
        • Art of the Russias
        • NY Times: . . . Obscure Social Realist
        • Nahum Tschacbasov Gallery
           Self Portrait, 1957
           Self Portrait, Glaring, 1962

  • LeRoy Turner   (*)


  • Walter Ufer (*)


  • Jara Henry Valenta   (*)

  • Stuyvesant Van Veen   (*)

  • John Vassos (*)

  • Charmion von Weigand   (*)

  • Joselph P. Vorst   (*)

  • Vaclav Vytlacil   (*)


  • Anna Walinska   (*)

  • Abraham Walkowitz   (*)

        Self Portrait 1927
        Self Portrait, 1927

  • Lynd Kendall Ward    (*) (**)   (1905-1985)
    "Lynd Ward (1905-1985) was an American artist best known for his wood engravings - in particular, his novels without words (see below), in which he tells a story entirely through woodcuts. . . Ward's woodcuts illustrated a 1934 edition of Frankenstein, published in New York by Harrison Smith and Robert Haas. These are outstanding, not only for excellence and power of design, but especially for insights into a disturbing and powerfully poetic work. . ."

    illustration from Frankenstein 1934
    illustration from Frankenstein 1934
    The Equinox Cooperative Press, was the idea of Lynd Ward and Henry Hart; the press published 12 books and 4 soft-covered Equinox Quarters from 1932-1937.
    "At the very bottom of the Great Depression in the US a group of young men and women in and around the book business formed a cooperative corporation dedicated to publishing works of literary significance that commercially minded publishers were neglecting, and to publishing such works in ways that enabled the graphic arts to illumine, as well as enhance, an author's meaning." - Henry Hart
    In her autobiographical memoir addressed to Fay Gold on October 18, 1955, Helen West Heller spoke about publishing her book of woodblock verse (Migratory Urge), a process she claimed Lynd Ward later took credit for. Regardless of her bitter feelings for him, Heller and Ward shared a common interest in woodcutting and contemporary social issues. They both had been born in Illinois (Canton/Chicago). On April 13, 1956, five months after her death, Lynd Ward was the main speaker at her memorial service.

    Lynd Ward, Wild Pilgrmage 1932 novel in woodcuts
    woodcut from Wild Pilgrmage, 1932
    a novel in woodcuts
    Lynd Ward Vertigo 1937 woodengraving novel in woodcuts
    wood-engraving from Vertigo, 1937
    a novel in woodcuts
    Lynd Ward, bookplate c.1937
    Creation, c.1937 bookplate
    chiaroscuro & wood engraving

        • God's Man (1929)
        • Mad Man's Drum (1930)
        • Wild Pilgrimage (1932)
        • Prelude to a Million Years (1933)
        • Song Without Words (1937)
        • Vertigo (1937)

        • Through the Magic Door
        • Georgetown Un: Lynd Ward
        • Vertigo, Random House, 1937
        • Today's Inspiration: Lynd Ward
           Prelude to a MIllion Years, 1933
        • Wild Pilgrmage
        • Woodcut and Linoleumcut Novesl
        • the Paris Review

        Maz Weber self portrait
          Self Portrait nd

  • Max Weber   (1881-1961)   (*)
        1937, National chairman, American Artists' Congress.
        1938-40, Honorary national chairman, A.A.C.
        • RoGallery

  • Louis Weiner   (*)

  • Charles S. Wells   (*)

  • Nat Werner   (*)

  • Harold Weston   (*)

  • Warren Wheelock   (*)

    •   Charles White   (1918-1979)

  • Francis Robert White   (*)

  • Donald Williams   (*)

  • Barbara Willson   (*)

  • Gilbert Wilson   (*)

  • Arnold Wiltz   (*)

  • Caleb Winholtz   (*)

  • Jan Wittenber   (*)

  • Ann Wolfe   (*)

    •   Meyer Wolfe   (1897-1985)

  • Hamilton Achelle Wolf   (*)

  • Adolf Wolff   (*)

    •   Grant Wood



  • Chikamichi Yamasaki   (*)

  • Art Young   (*)   (**)


  • Bernard B. Zakheim   (*)

  • Carl Zigrosser   (*)

  • Gyula Zilzer   (*)

  • Santos Zingale   (*)

  • Nicola Ziroli   (*)

        Marguerite Thompson Zorach The Artists and Child
          The Artist and Child, 1921
          Linoleum cut, 9.5" x 6" inches

  • Marguerite Thompson Zorach   (*) (1887-1968)

         Still Life   serigraph
         collection of Scattergood-Moore

    Marguerite T. Zorach
    Provicentown Players
    woodcut, c 1915

        • Artists OnLine
        • Allinson Gallery
        • William & Maruerite Zorach
        • Gender of Modernism at Armory Show

          Self Portrait

  • William Zorach   (*)   (1889-1966)
        • HomePage    [ Gallery]




    April, 1935: Ideas for the AAC:

    ". . . The idea of an American Artists' Congress was discussed at a meeting of the Party fraction of the John Reed Club in April 1935 . . . with Trachtenberg in attendance. . ." - Artists on the Left: American Artists and the Communist Movement, by Andrew Hemingway, Yale Universiry Pesss

    May 18, 1935: Beginning of the AAC:

    "The first organizational meeting of the Congress took place at the studio of Eitaro Ishigaki under the guidance of Alexander Trachtenberg. Twenty artists attended. A second meeting was held on June 10 and a third meeting on June 24. Stuart Davis accepted the position of executive secretary and would later become the chairman. Throughout the summer the planning committee met every Friday evening at the ACA Galleries.

    At the second meeting artists Stuart Davis, George Ault, Hugo Gellert and Louis Lozowick, along with critic Jerome Klein, were asked to draft a "Call of the American Artists' Congress." At the third meeting the Lozowick's draft of the "Call" was rejected for "lacking the qualities of a manifesto" and another committee was formed consisting of Stuart Davis, Aaron Douglas, Hugo Gellert, Ben Shahn, William Siegel and a person whose named appeared as "Schang" but was probably Saul Schary. The new call was approved by early August at which time the organization had grown to fifty-six artists. (AA9) By October, when the call was printed in the October 1st issue of the New Masses, the organization had 114 members. By the time of the first meeting it had 401 members. By 1939 it had over 900 members.
    In 1936 the 1st American Artists' Congress against War and Fascism (AAC) was held in New York City at Town Hall and the New School of Social Research from February 14 to 16.
    "Through this Congress more than 400 leading American artists, academicians and modernists, purists and social realists, were brought together on a platform in defense of their common interests."
    The Congress was also attended by a delegation of 12 from Mexico, including José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Rufino Tamayo.

    The American Artists' Congress (AAC) always had a close association with the Communist party. During a meeting in 1940 the Congress endorsed the Russian invasion of Finland and according to a succession letter, the Congress loosened its policy of boycotting Fascist and Nazi exhibits. because of this 17 prominent members left the Congress. The AAC continued to function primarily with other organizations through 1941, but dissolved soon after the US entered World War II - the organization briefly merged into the Artists' Societies for National Defense and then the Artists' Council for Victory - an organization that combined twenty-three artists societies.


    1st American Artists' Congress
    New York: privately published, 1936
    Black wraps. 104 pp.
    Collection of Scattergood-Moore

    Includes essays by Lewis Mimford, Stuart Davis, Rockwell Kent, joe Jones, Aaron Douglas, Margaret Bourke-White, Paul Manship, George Biddle, Heywood Broun, Francis J. Gorman and Peter Blume (Public Session). First Closed session includes comments by Meyer Shapiro, Lynd Ward, Max Weber, Gilbert Wilson, John Groth, Harry Sternberg, Ralph M. Pearson. Second Closed Session includes Saul Schary, Arnold Blanch, Arnold Friedman, Harry Gottlieb, Louis Lozowick, Margaret Duroc, "A German Artist In Exile", and Hugo Gellert. Third Closed Session includes Alexander R. Stavenitz, Boris Gorelick, Katherine Schmidt, Robert White, Waylande Gregory and Henry Billings. Fourth Closed session inlcludes Jose Clemente and David A. Siqueiros. Includes a list of artists who signed the Call to Action. Quite rare and very important. This publication represents the printed form of the First Congress of American Artists against War and Facism which was held in New York on Feb. 14-16, 1936

    Amercian Artists' Congress 1937



    A December 17, 1936 New York Times advertisement for American Today stated:
    "Those who ran New Deal art projects were often artists themselves, but they were artists who thought art should not be limited to an elite. They refused to restrict artistic creativity to those talented enough to paint museum-quality work or perform on a New York concert stage. Most New Deal artist-administrators believed deeply that the projects had a responsibility to explore art's many expressions, to reach out to as many Americans as possible, and to put art to practical use."


    American Today; New York: Equinox Cooperative Press, 1936. First Printing. Quarto. 14pp. Plus one hundred black & white plates. Original cream color cloth over boards with black stamped lettering on spine and front panel. Contains many examples of American printmakers including Helen West Heller, Lynd Ward, Wanda Ga'g, Philip Evergood, Paul Cadmus, Miguel Covarrubias, Rockwell Kent, and many others. Each of the prints was chosen for the exhibition by American Artists' Congress

    by Henry Glintenkamp
    America Today: A Book of 100 Prints

    Helen West Heller was not a member of the American Artists' Congress of 1936, however her woodcut "Reforestation" - the central panel of her triptych American Soil - was shown in the group exhibition of the Congress and illustrated in "America Today: A Book of 100 Prints," published by Equinox Cooperative Press. "Reforestation" was one of the most powerful art works exhibited.

    helen west heller woodcut Restorestation
    Helen West Heller's Restoration, 1935
    central panel of "American Earth"
    2012, © collection of Scattergood-Moore






    "If the 1930s can teach us one key lesson, it is the need to organize. Nothing changes when people do not engage in the long and difficult work of building a diverse, multi-cultural, working class movement from the ground up. This includes artists. Fortunately, the 1930s provides us with multiple examples of how artists worked collectively to confront the economic crisis of their time." - The International Artists Union




    Art is the permanent revolution a film my Manfred Kirshelmer



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