Dedicated to Howard Zinn (1922-2012)

"Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people,
can transform the world." - Howard Zinn



(Spanish, 1746-1828)

The Prisoner, 1811, etching
2013, © collection of Scattergood-Moore




Moral and Social Consciousness



TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.

What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.

And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”


HOWARD ZINN   (1922 - 2010)  Goodreads



"Political power," says Howard Zinn, "is controlled by the corporate elite, and the arts are the locale for a kind of guerilla warfare in the sense that guerillas look for apertures and opportunities where they can have an effect." In his book, Artists in Times of War, Zinn looks at the possibilities to create such apertures through art, film, activism, publishing, and through our everyday lives. In this collection of four essays, the author of A People's History of the United States writes about why "to criticize the government is the highest act of patriotism."

"It wasn't until I was in a war that I realized that there are no such things as good wars and bad wars," writes Zinn in the book's opening essay. It is this realization that Zinn tracks through each of the book's chapters, with each focusing on a different cultural manifestation of war resistance. Chapter One examines the unique role of the artist to "transcend his or her moment" to critique power and inspire others to challenge authority. Chapter Two follows the example of Emma Goldman and anarchism. Chapter Three looks at how Hollywood has used film as a forum for resistance. The book concludes with a historic essay on the role that grassroots pamphlet publishing has played in US movement building and resistance. Filled with quotes and examples from the likes of Bob Dylan, Mark Twain, e. e. cummings, Thomas Paine, Joseph Heller, and Emma Goldman, Zinn's essays discuss America's rich cultural counternarratives to war, so needed in these days of unchallenged US militarism.


7 Seven Stories Press   Artists in Times of War


Truth in the Hands of Artists
Artists in Times of War
Citizenship Education and Art & Design
   • Visual Artists
Graphic Arts
The Legacy Project
Activist & Iconic Photographs




"The artist must elect to fight for freedom or for slavery. I have made my choice.
I had no alternative."  -  Paul Robeson  (1899 - 1976)


"A work of art encountered is an experience, not a statement or an answer to a
question. Art is not about something; it is something.  -  Susan Sontag (1933 - 2004)


"Art has a long history of taking an active and critical look at society; communicating ideas, commenting and aspiring to social change."

From Picasso's Guernica to the photographic images of the Vietnam War, the visual arts have highlighted the wrongs of society and the pain that conflict delivers to both victims and perpetrators   (New Releases project)












Bowman, Algerica roock painting, Bradshaw Foundation
Bowman, rock painting, Algeria
© The Bradshaw Foundation












• THE BATTLE OF KADESH   (circa, 1274 BC)


RAMESSES II   (Egypt, c. 1303 - 1213 BC)


Ramses II storming the Hittite fortress of Dapur

from a relief sculpture on Ramesses' temple at Thebes.

Ramesses II, referred to as Ramesses the Great, was the son of Seti I, and around thirty years old when he became king of Egypt. He was the third Egyptian pharaoh of the Nineteenth dynasty and often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire. Ramesses II reigned for 67 years; had many wives, among them some of his own near relatives; and was the father of about 111 sons and 51 daughters.

". . . In the eighth and ninth years of his reign, Ramesses II extended his military campaign . . . against his Hittite foes when he successfully captured the cities of Dapur and Tunip, where no Egyptian soldier had been seen since the time of Thutmose III almost 120 years previously. His victory proved to be ephemeral, however. The thin strip of territory pinched between Amurru and Kadesh did not make for a stable possession. Within a year, they had returned to the Hittite fold, which meant that Ramesses had to march against Dapur once more in his tenth year. His second success here was equally as meaningless as his first, since neither Egypt nor Hatti could decisively defeat the other in battle.

The running borderlands conflicts were finally concluded some fifteen years after the Battle of Kadesh by an official peace treaty in 1258 BC, in the 21st year of Ramesses II's reign, with Hattusili III, the new king of the Hittites. The treaty that was established was inscribed on a silver tablet, of which a clay copy survived in the Hittite capital of Hattusa, in modern Turkey, and is on display at the Istanbul Archaeology Museum. An enlarged replica of the Kadesh agreement hangs on a wall at the headquarters of the United Nations, as the earliest international peace treaty known to historians. . . "

Wilkipedia: Battle of Kadesh


Ramesses II
Battle of Kadesh







Assyrian battle scene of foot soldiers and charioteers
Relief sculpture, British Museum, London

"The first historical evidence of army organization comes from the Middle Eastern Sumerian empire in Babylonia. Figurines from the 4th millennium BC show foot soldiers in copper helmets and heavy cloaks carrying short spears. The Sumerians used wooden chariots; but, with four solid wooden wheels . . .


Assyrian lion hunt
Frieze from the royal Palace of Ashurbanipal
British Museum, London

"The King’s role was to protect his people from enemies. In ancient Assyria, this was often symbolized in the lion hunt, when the king went out to kill lions."

Ancient Art


Dying Lioness, Assyrian relief sculpture


Ancient Assyrian War Scenes
Battle Between Assur-banipal (king of Assyria) and Te Umman (king of Elam)
Artwork From Ancient Assyrian Palaces
   • Wounded Lion
Wounded Lioness, Assyrian
Assyrian Royal Lion Hunt
   North Palace of Nineveh; 645–635 BC
Wikipedia: Lion hunting
Wounded lion Palace of Ashurbanipat, 7th Century
The Wounded Lion, 645 BC
Assyrian lion hunt






(circa, 8th century BC to AD 3rd century)


Scene from the war between Lapiths and Centaurs

Attic kratera from Chiusi
Archaeologic Museum, Florence

The war was fought between the Greeks and Trojans with their allies, upon a Phrygian city of Troy (Ilium), on Asia Minor (modern Turkey). The war lasted for ten years and it has been traditionally dated from 1194 to 1184 BC.

The Trojan War influenced authors and artists for centuries.The Iliad was the most famous epic poems of the Trojan War, set on the ninth year of the war, and written by an known author named Homer, who probably lived in the 9th-8th century BC.


Amazonomachia,   (ca. 180 BC)

(fight between Greeks and Amazons)
relief on a sarcophagus found in Salonica
Louvre, Department of Greek Antiquities, Paris

In Greek mythology, Amazonomachy (English translation: "Amazon battle"; plural, Amazonomachiai) was the portrayal of the mythical battle between the Ancient Greeks and the Amazons, a nation of all-female warriors. Amazonomachy represents the Greek ideal of civilization. The Amazons were portrayed as a savage and barbaric race, while the Greeks were portrayed as a civilized race of human progress. . .



Mosaic of Battle of Issus   (1st century BC)
Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples
(reconstruction of mosaic)

Alexander the Great's battle against Darius III at Issus, southern Anatolia,Turkey in November 333 BC resulted with a Macedonian victory and Alexander controlling southern Asia Minor. The mosaic was found in Pompeii, in the House of the Faun, and today is in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, Italy.
See the painting by Albrecht Altdorfer (1480-1538) The Battle of Alexander at Issus, 1529, oil on panel, die Pinakotheken im Kunstareal Muchen



'Portonaccio Sarcophagus   (2nd century AD)

(Battle between Romans and Germans)

"As the Roman empire grew, battles and war preoccupied more and more of the art (and presumably the thoughts) of the Romans. The style of the art slowly changed, too, from a sympathetic and even heroic depiction of the defeated Dacians in the column of Trajan (101 AD) to the later wars of Marcus Aurelius (180 AD), depicting the defeated barbarians as being crushed under the weight of their inevitable destiny. This sarcophagus dates from around 250 AD. "

Terme di Diocleziano


Battle of the Romans and Barbarians
Ludovisi Battle Sarcophagus
250 CE (Late Roman)


The Iliad, written by Homer
Timeless Myths
   • Classical Mythology
Problematic females in ancient greek society
Ancient Greek Warfare
Reconstruction of the Alexander Mosaic
Battle of Issus, ca. 319 BC
Terme di Diocleziano
Late Roman Empire and Constantine
Column of Marcus Aurelius (180-192)
Roman Art Museum





• BAYEUX TAPESTRY   (England, 11th Century)


The Bayeux Tapestry (Calvados) is an embroidery measuring 70 metres long, made in the 11th century. It is listed as a “Memory of the World” by UNESCO. Vikings ships, Norman and Saxon cavalries illustrate the exploits of William and his opponent Harold, another pretender to the throne of England. William the Conqueror and Harold, Earl of Wessex, were the men who led the Norman and Saxon armies into battle during 1066. William's defeat of Harold at the Battle of Hastings ensured the success of the Norman invasion of England. . . The linen canvas was embroidered after the Battle of Hastings on October 14th, 1066, probably in a monastery in the south of England.

The Tapestry can be divided into thirteen sections; within each section are a number of scenes exploring the story. The last two sections illustrate:

  12. William Rides to War

      13. The Battle of Hastings

Britain's Bayeux Tapestry

above: "As the air fills with arrows and lances, men lie dying. The English soldiers, who are all on foot, protect themselves with a wall of shields. The Normans attack from both sides. The lower border of the tapestry is filled with dead and injured soldiers." The Battle of Hastings, scene 2

Battle of Hastings

above: "The Normans seem to be getting the upper hand as the battle continues. Many more soldiers die, one appears to be having his head cut off. On the right is the best known scene in the Tapestry: the Normans killing King Harold. But how is Harold killed? He seems to be shown twice: first plucking an arrow from his eye, and then being hacked down by a Norman knight. The tapestry is difficult to interpret here, but the second figure is probably Harold being killed."The Battle of Hastings, scene 6


The entire Bayeux Tapestry
   • IIPMooViewer 1.1
The Full Bayeux Tapestry (thumbnails)
Bayeux Tapestry (detail 1)
Bayeux Tapestry (detail 2)
Britain's Bayeux Tapestry
Bayeux tapestry isn't a tapestry
The Art of War
Web Gallery of Art









Hans Holbein, the Younger
woodcut from "Dance of Death"


"If you think back to 1980 and just sort of tick off the number of military enterprises that we have been engaged in that part of the world, large and small, you know, Beirut, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia - and on and on, and ask yourself, ‘What have we got done? What have we achieved? Is the region becoming more stable? Is it becoming more Democratic? Are we enhancing America's standing in the eyes of the people of the Islamic world?' 'The answers are, 'No, no, and no.' So why, Mr. President, do you think that initiating yet another war in this protracted enterprise is going to produce a different outcome?"

Andrew Bacevish
Moyers & Company



United States of America


Sounds of Gun Battle soundbutton

Bunker Buster Missle soundbutton













Printmaking has long had a tradition linked with social-political commentary dating back to Durer, and including the effort of artists such as Daumier, Toulouse-Latrec, Rowlandson, Goya, William Blake, Picasso, and Leonard Baskin.

Mauricio Lasansky, like Rico Lebrun, rejected the formalist abstraction of Joseph Albers and Clement Greenberg to embraced the Expressionism of Picasso and Germans such as Max Beckmann as well as the great Mexican muralists and equally embraced their notion of utilizing art as a means of confronting socio-political-economic realities.

stlukesquild at (forum)







ALBRECHT DURER (Germany, 1471 - 1528)



left: Head of an Apostle Looking Downward, (1508)
Brush drawing with white highlights on green-toned paper
Graphische Sammlung Albertina

right: Portrait of a Negro, (c.1630) charcoal drawing
Probably drawn from life, using as a model a man
(slave?) encountered either in Nuremberg or Italy.


The Revelation of St John: 4
The Four Riders of the Apocalypse

Woodcut, Dimensions: 15.4" × 11"


left: Dancing Peasants, (1514) metal engraving
right: Bagpiper, (1514) metal engraving


Albrecht Durer - The Complete Works

Self Portrait in the Nude (drawing)
The Knight Death and The Devil
Melancholia I
Witch Riding Backwards On A Goat
Dancing Peasants
The Women's Bath
The Men's Bath
Durer's Mother (drawing)
Weeping Cherub
Head of A Negro
The Negress Katherina
Rhinoceros (drawing)
Rhinoceros (woodcut)
Dead Bluebird (drawing)






JACQUES CALLOT (Duchy of Lorraine, 1592-1632)


JACQUES CALLOT (Duchy of Lorraine, 1592-1632)
The Hanging, etching
from The miseries of war, No. 11

detail of The Hanging



JACQUES CALLOT (Duchy of Lorraine, 1592-1632)
The Crippled Beggar, etching
13,80 by 8,80 cm   (L.488, first state)
from a group of 25 etchings: The Beggars (1622-23)
2013 ©: collection of Scattergood-Moore








REMBRANDT H. VAN RIJN (Dutch, 1606-1669)


"Rembrandt van Rijn was not the first Dutch or Flemish artist to paint beggars. You can find such images in paintings by Brueghel and others, among them Adriaen van de Venne, who built a career out of painting beggars, peasants and the disabled. But what is different about Rembrandt's representations of beggars is his refusal to depict them as contemptible or repugnant; his humanity always shines through. . .

Rembrandt was a prodigy. By the age of 18 he had finished his formal training as an artist; the following year, 1625, he was beginning to sell his work. The artist's first recorded etchings were produced around this time, although it wasn't until 1630, following the death of his father . . .

REMBRANDT H. VAN RIJN (Dutch, 1606-1669)
left: Beggar Seated on a Bank,   (1930)   etching
right: Ragged Peasant With His Hands Behind His Back,   (1930)   etching

Etchings from 1629, are simple, single-figure studies, extremely limited in line, shading and tone. But by the following year Rembrandt became more ambitious, as in a sensitive, well-honed portrait of his father. Beggar Seated on a Bank (1630), is an evocative piece showing a seemingly defeated figure. It is an image of human despair.

Two etchings, one from 1630 and another from 1632 hint at the greatness to come. Ragged Peasant With His Hands Behind His Back (1630) and The Rat Catcher (1632) are distinguished by the fineness of their lines and greater subtlety of shading and tone. . . Beggars Receiving Alms at the Door of a House (1648), "emblemizes the anguish of poverty, showing a family of beggars huddled around a doorway receiving alms. But Rembrandt also takes pains to depict these people more as unfortunate than as undesirable. Rembrandt was a great artist, and he also had a great heart."

Rembrandt's Beggars


As the basis for his etching Beggar seated on a bank (1630) , Rembrandt used an etching Beggar standing (c, 1622) by Jacques Callot.

"Callot’s etching is part of a series of prints of beggars (Les Gueux) that inspired a great many artists. The figure is shown against a blank background. The beggar is wearing ragged clothes and his feet are bare. He appears to be saying something, while his hand is outstretched to receive alms." Rembrandt's etching of a "seated beggar shows significant similarities to Callot's Beggar standing - the expression on the beggar's face, his ragged cloak and his outstretched hand. In Rembrandt's etching, the face is more expressive of the hard life a beggar suffered." Another difference is that Rembrandt added a few suggestive details in the background.

The Rembrandt House Museum


REMBRANDT H. VAN RIJN (Dutch, 1606-1669)
Beggar with a Wooden Leg,   (1930)   etching


REMBRANDT H. VAN RIJN (Dutch, 1606-1669)
Beggar man and beggar woman conversing,   (1930)   etching



REMBRANDT H. VAN RIJN (Dutch, 1606-1669)
Christ presented to the People,   State V, etching, 1655
Christ presented to the People,   State VII, drypoint & etching, 1655


List of etchings by Rembrandt
The Rembrandt House Museum
Review: Rembrandt's Beggars

Teylers Museum
   • Zelfportretten
   • Bijbel: Oude Testament
   • Bijbel: Nieuwe Testament
   • Heiligen
   • Allegorieen en fantasieen
   • Dagelijks leven en stillevens
   • Beggars
   • Nudes
   • Landscapes
   • Mannen
   • Vrouwen
   • Studiebladen

Animals in Art
Rembrandt and Elephants

Bedelaar, zittend tegen een heuveltje (zelfportret?)   (1630) etching
Zelfportret met baret en opengesperde ogen   (1630) etching
Sheet of studies   (1632) etching
  head of the artist, a beggar couple, heads of an old man and woman, etc.
Rembrandt, zelfportret met baret   (1638) etching
Beggar on a Bank   (1630) etching
Boer met handen op de rug   (1631)   etching
Oude man en vrouw, lopend   (1634)
Boer met muts, leunend op wandelstok   (1639)
Naakte vrouw, gezeten op een verhoging   (1631) etching
Diana, badend   (1631) etching
Kunstenaar, modeltekenend   (1639) etching
Naakte jongen, gezeten voor een gordijn   (1646) etching
Jongeman, zittend en staand ("Het rolwagentje")   (1646) etching
Jonge man, zittend op de grond   (1646) etching
Baders   (1651) etching
Vrouw met onbloot bovenlichaam bij een kachel   (1658) etching
Vrouw bij het baden, met hoed naast haar   (1658) etching
Zittende naakte vrouw met voeten in beek   (1658) etching
Liggende negerin   (1658) etching
Vrouw met pijl (Venus en Cupido/ Cleopatra?)   (1661)   etching
An Elephant   (1637) drawing
An Elephant   (1637) drawing
Head of Elephant   (c. 1637) drawing
Three Elephants   (1637) drawing
Hansken (elephant)   (1637) drawing
Hond, slapend (dog)   (1640)
Sleeping Puppy   (1640) etching
De Zeug (hog)   (1643)
A lion asleep; after Rembrandt.   (c.1646-50) drawing
The Shell (Conus Marmoreus) 1st state   (1650)
The Shell (Conus Marmoreus) 2nd state,   (1650)   etching, drypoint, engraving
Schelp (Conus Marmoreus) 2nd state,   (1650)
A Lion Lying Down   (1650-52)   drawing  |  detail of A Lion Lying Down
  An extinct Cape Lion (Panthera leo melanochaitus) Location: Louvre, Paris
De barmhartige Samaritaan betaalt de herbergier   (1633)   etching
Student at a table by candlelight   (c. 1642)   etching
Vlucht naar Egypte   (1651)   etching
The rest on the flight, altered from Seghers,   (c.1653)   etching
Kruisiging (Drie kruisen) 1   (1653)   etching
Kruisiging (Drie kruisen) 2   (1653)   etching
Ecce Homo   (1655)   etching


REMBRANDT H. VAN RIJN (Dutch, 1606-1669)
Der Pissende Mann,   (1631)   etching
Die Pissebde Frau,   (1631)   etching









WILLIAM HOGARTH   (English, 1697 - 1764)


WILLIAM HOGARTH   (English, 1697 - 1764)
Characters and Caricatures, 1743, etching
The idealized heads of St. John and St. Paul contrasted with grotesque heads,
above them rises a cloud of faces showing different expressions
after: Pier Leone Ghezzi, Raphael, Annibale Carracci and Leonardo da Vinci
2013, © collection of Scattergood-Moore


WILLIAM HOGARTH   (English, 1697–1764)
The Bench, 1758, etching
2013, © collection of Scattergood-Moore


WILLIAM HOGARTH   (English, 1697–1764)
The Rake in Bedlam, 1733, engraving

“The Rake in Bedlam” is from the series - A Rake’s Progress - by William Hogarth, 1733. The engraving shows the once rich Tom Rakewell, reduced to penury and madness. In the 18th Century, it was common to lock up criminals, the poor and the insane all together, and the rich (notice the two ladies at the rear) were allowed to pay a few cents to observe the spectacle. Such treatment was generally ended in most nations by the early 19th Century. But the practice of imprisoning the insane alongside the sane still continues in some penitentiaries in the United States and elsewhere.

Images of prisoners












3 small etchings titled Prisioneros ("Prisoners") created in 1811
printed in 1867 after Goya's death
by Delatre in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts

The Little Prisoner: "Tan Barbara la Seguridad como el delito" ("The custody is as barbarous as the crime"). Original etching and burin, c. 1810-1820. from the first edition of 1867 printed by Delatre in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts with the words "Gazette des Beaux-Arts" lower left and "Imp. Delatre" lower right. Image size: 110x85mm.


Inspired by the writings of the Italian criminologist Cesare Beccaria and other Enlightenment philosophers - Goya rejected torture and the long-term, solitary confinement of criminals and the insane. His drawings and etchings of prisoners were intended to shame those in the monarchy and Catholic Church who supported the Inquisition and its attendant horrors. . .



Plate 3. Lo miasma (The Same)

Plate 12. Para eso habeis nacido (This is what you were born for)

Plate 15. Y no hai remedio
Plate 15. And There's Nothing to Be Done

Plate 18. Enterrar y caller (Bury Them and Keep Quiet)

Plate 30. Estragos de la guerra (Ravages of War)

Plate 36. Tampoci (Not This Time Either)

Plate 37. Esto es per (This Is Worse)

Plate 39. Grande Hazana! Con muetos!
Plate 39. (A heroic Feat! With dead men!)

Plate 41. Por qué? (Why?)

(Spanish, 1746 - 1828)

Los Desastres de la Guerra   (The Disasters of War)
etchings and/or aquatint
Created between 1819 and 1820, printed after Goya's death


Goya presented a set of prints made between 1810 and 1820 to his friend Ceán Bermúdez. These are now in the British Museum.

The manuscript title to the set reads 'Fatal consequences of the bloody war in Spain with Bonaparte'. The set falls into three principal groups: scenes of the war that had begun in 1808; the famine in Madrid in 1811-12; and some allegorical subjects which were the last to be etched.

The final suppression of liberalism and constitutional government in Spain in 1823 prevented its publication and ultimately led to Goya's decision to leave Spain the following year and settle in Bordeaux. It was not until 1863, long after Goya's death, that the first set was published by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid, under the title Los Desastres de la Guerra ('The Disasters of War').

British Museum


With his Disasters of War series - 82 prints inspired by the Peninsular War - "Goya broke an ages-old, iconographical tradition. Dating back to Assyrian reliefs and Trajan's column, war art had always previously been commissioned by the winner, in celebration of his triumph. To the victor, the spoils - and the commemorative art.

Disasters Of War, however, was commissioned by no one. It was Goya's private project, which he never even published in his lifetime. Unflinchingly he depicts mutilation, torture, rape and many other atrocities besides - performed, indiscriminately, by French and Spanish alike. This art wasn't partisan, it was a grim observation of man's potential inhumanity to man; of the true barbarities of war."

How Disasters of War made Goya a 'modern' artist


Francisco Goya: The Complete Works
History of Art: "Disasters of War" I  |  "Disasters of War" 2  |  "Disasters of War" 3
The invented Realities of Goya's Disasters of War
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Spaightwood Galleries

Prisoner III







HONORE DAUMIER   (French, 1808 - 1879)


HONORE DAUMIER   (French, 1808 - 1879)

Conseil de Guerre   lithograph (date)

HONORE DAUMIER   (French, 1808 - 1879)

Rue Transnonain   (date) lithograph

The lithograph, Rue Transnonain, is by far one of Daumier's most famous prints. It was also one of great controversy. The existing prints that we have of this published piece to this day are highly valued because when it was first printed and distributed in La Caricature, a publication that spoke out vehemently against censorship of the press, it was rounded up by the government and destroyed--the lithograph print stone included. Only copies successfully hid by individuals exist today.

Daumier speaks out doubly against the actions of the French National Guard and the government that directs them. The scene is not a caricature as was Daumier's expertise. Instead it is a very disturbing depiction of the result of the actions taken by the National Guard against a family during a time of riot. Women and children were killed mercilessly and Duamier speaks to the barbarian cruelty of these acts while also challenging the attempts to censure opposing opinions about government affairs.

Art & Culture



Rue Transnonain







JOSÉ GUADALUPE POSADA   (Mexican, 1851 - 1913)


JOSÉ GUADALUPE POSADA   (Mexican, 1851 - 1913)

Don Quijote   wood engraving (date)

JOSÉ GUADALUPE POSADA   (Mexican, 1851 - 1913)

Calavera huetista granger   wood engraving (date)

Posada, a popular Mexican illustrator of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, used the calavera as a basic motif for social satire and political cartoons. The above tarantula-skull is a caricature of General José Victoriano Huerta Márquez, Mexico’s brutal dictator at the time.

Metal on Metal

Calavera Huertista c. 1910, metal engraving
Calavera Zapatisata c. 1910, metal engraving
The Squeleton of Don Quijote c.1905, metal+engraving







FÉLIX VALLOTTON   (Swiss, 1865 - 1925)


FÉLIX VALLOTTON   (Swiss, 1865 - 1925)

The Charge / La Charge, (1893) woodcut

FÉLIX VALLOTTON   (Swiss, 1865 - 1925)

Dan l'ombre / In the Shadow, (1916) woodcut

"Before going to the front to attempt to paint the war, Vallotton engraved emblematic images of it. His album entitled This is War is a collection of his woodcuts - a technique he mastered during the 1890s - one which demands extreme simplicity, bold contrasts between black and white, and ruggedness of line. This makes it particularly appropriate for depicting warfare, groping with knives in the dark sapping trenches, between enemies who could hardly see each other. The details on the helmets are all there is to indicate the nationality of either side."

Art of First World War - The Battlefield

MoMA: Félix Vallotton
   The Is War portfolio (1915 - 1916)
Art & Artists: Felix Vallotton  -  part 2 |  part 3   part 4 |  part 5
Focus on Felix Vallotton
Art of the First World War
La Manifestation woodcut
In the Shadow 1916, woodcut







KATHE KOLLWITZ   (German, 1867 - 1945)


“Printmaking and drawing are two techniques which are truly able
to express the inner emotions of pain, sorrow and loneliness.”

                        Max Klinger, Painting and Drawing (essay)


KATHE KOLLWITZ   (German, 1867 - 1945)

Death, Woman (self portrait?) and Child, 1910, etching
2013, © collection of Scattergood-Moore

At the end of 1908 Kathe Kollwitz' older son Hans had contracted diphtheria and died soon after. Kollwitz became obsessed by this event and produced a series of drawings and echoing groom the years 1910/11. The self-portrait-like features of the etching leave no doubt that it refers to Kollwitz, however the boy is much younger than Hans. ". . . mother and child rest here cheek by cheek. The mother encloses her son in a firm embrace and holds his left hand. Against this woman, Death with his awkward, thin bony arm seems by no means the clear victor. . ."


One of the greatest graphic artists of all time, Kathe Kollwitz (Kaethe Schmidt), the granddaughter of a radical preacher and the daughter of a union organizer, a pacifist, a lover of children, and a socialist spent her life in an autocratic state which, whether ruled by the Kaiser or the Nazis, hated everything for which she stood. In 1890 she married Karl Kollwitz, a former medical student from her home-town, who after graduation had set up as a member of a subscription medical practice in the poorest part of Berlin. Here they spent the best part of their lives, in Käthe's case including the entire Nazi era - until driven out by the large-scale bombing of the city. The first woman to be elected professor at the Prussian Academy, she lost her position and was declared "persona non grata" in 1933, when Hitler came to power. The Kollwitz's lost their oldest son, Hans, died from diphtheria at the end of 1908 and their youngest son Peter early in 1914 during WWI. Kathe Kollwitz's art shows us one who responded to her country's choice with anguished protest, as if each print might finally be the one to bring Germany back to her senses.

Kollwitz firmly believed that art should reflect the particular social conditions of the time in which one lives. The Nazis banned the public display of her work and her sculpture was removed from the Crown Prince's Palace by declaring: ". . . in the Third Reich mothers have no need to defend their children."

My Opera


KATHE KOLLWITZ   (German, 1867-1945)
"Bein Dengeln" / Sharpening the Scythe,   (1905)
Sheet 3 of The Peasants' War series
etching, drypoint, aquatint & softground
2013, © collection of Scattergood-Moore

Kollwitz' second major etching cycle from 1902-1908 is called "Bauernkrieg" (Peasants' War). The series of seven etchings are based on the 1524-1525 peasant uprisings in southern and central Germany. Kollwitz depicts the peasants rallying to fight their oppressors for more equitable living conditions and documents the tragic effects of their defeat. "Black Anna," the heroine portrayed in Plate 3 ''Beim Denglen" (Sharpening the Scythe), exemplifies the tender yet courageous character of many of Kollwitz' female protagonists.

Kathe Kollwitz Exhibition


KATHE KOLLWITZ   (German, 1867-1945)
Losbruch / Charge aka Revolt, 1902/03
Sheet 5 of The Peasants' War series
20.2 x 23.1 inches / 513 x 587 mm
etching, drypoint, aquatint & softground
2013, © collection of Scattergood-Moore


According to Otto Nagel, Kollwitz's friend, cataloguer, and biographer, as a result of the success of her The Weaver's Revolt (series of etchings), Kollwitz was appointed to teach Graphics and Nude Studies at the Berlin School for Women. While there she "conceived the idea for another major cycle, The Peasants' Revolt, which would explore the mistreatment of the oppressed, their growing resentment and outrage, their attempts to right the wrongs done them, and their ultimate destruction." Commissioned by the Association for Historical Art, Kollwitz began this new large-size series in 1902 and completed the seven large etchings that make up the series in 1908. The result is one of the most powerful graphic series in the history of Western Art. In addition to the seven etchings in the series, she also executed two additional works, Aufruhr / Revolt (1899) and Inspiration (1905) that existed parallel to the series but were ultimately not included or exhibited with it. We show all nine of these works below, some in several different states.

The 5th sheet in The Peasants' Revolt is Losbruch / Charge. Kollwitz wrote about Charge, "I consider this Peasants' War print to be my best work and I am rather happy about it." Otto Nagel felt that Revolt was "the most powerful print in the whole series" and added "This is indeed a Revolt; it explodes off the page as the peasants surge forth, there is an unmistakeable determination to fight in their haggard faces. The woman in the foreground raises her arms to give the signal. Kathe once told me that she had portrayed herself in this woman. She wanted the signal to attack to come from her." Schlahtfeld / After the battle, sheet 6 of the series, depicts a woman, checking the fallen with a lantern, searching for her loved ones after the battle, touches the face of a dead boy with great tenderness and great grief.

Käthe Kollwitz by Otto Nagel (1971)
Spaightwood Galleries

image above: Käthe Kollwitz
charcoal study for Black Anna


Black Anna: The spectacle of the wild woman - woman unleashed, in a rage and definitely on top - has always aroused irritation, especially if the woman comes from the lower classes. In 1902, the German artist Kathe Kollwitz used this image to tell the story of Black Anna, the heroine of the 1524 uprising in which she led a band of peasants in an attack against the local establishment in a town called Heilbronn. Kollwitz, who was a feminist and a socialist, told a biographer she identified with Black Anna. In this etching (Losbruch / Charge), for the first time in art history an artist has created an image of excessive violence and feminine energy. Before this time, peasant women had traditionally been depicted as passive maternal or nurturing figures; an active lower-class figure was generally thought to be malevolent, even a witch. But in her figure of Black Anna, Kollwitz has transformed these negative values into positive ones: the dark force of the peasant woman becomes a harbinger of social progress. It is no accident that this image was created at the turn of the last century - the moment when women were beginning to claim their rights.

Linda Nochlin
© 1999 The New York Times


KATHE KOLLWITZ   (German, 1867-1945)
Schlachtfeld / After the battle (1921)
Sheet 6 of The Peasants' War series
412 (high) x 529 (width) mm
etching, drypoint, aquatint & softground
2013, © collection of Scattergood-Moore


Kathe Kollwitz: The Graphic Works   |   images
My Opera: Kathe Kollwitz

Death, Woman, Child
Uprising (Aufruhr Anfang) 1899
  Etching, drypoint, aquatint, brush etching, sandpaper and some roulette.
  This print existed parallel to the "Peasant s' War" series but was ultimately not included
  or exhibited with it. (original print in the collection of Scattergood-Moore © 2013)
Sharpening the Scythe" (1905) Etching, drypoint, sandpaper, aquatint & soft ground.
  Sheet 3 from the "Peasant's War" series.







HELEN WEST HELLER   (American, 1872 - 1955)


Helen West Heller Website


HELEN WEST HELLER   (American, 1872 - 1955)

Flogging aka Prelude to the Lynching
1927, woodcut, 9" x 8 3/8"
2013 © collection of Scattergood-Moore




Cop, 1927
woodcut, 12" x 87"
2013, © M. Lee Stone Fine Prints, Inc.



"The owner of the Green Bookstore on 3rd Avenue recalled her (Helen West Heller) fondly as a 'short, almost tiny energetic' woman who lived nearby and dropped in often. The owner, my father and Helen and Nelson Garlinghouse separately all talked about Helen's political and outspoken bent, using the word communist in the context of the 1950s."

L.S.D. (who knew the artist as a boy)


Murder At The Doorway by Helen West Heller

HELEN WEST HELLER   (American, 1872 - 1955)
Murder At A Doorway, 1932
wood-engraving, image size: 2" [w] x 3 7/8" [h]
2013 © collection of Scattergood-Moore



After the Spanish anarchist Franciso Ferrer was executed in 1909, Ferrer schools sprang up in sympathy around the world. If one imagines a children's school conducted without authority, he will appreciate the impossibility of pedagogy, but the Ferrer Center and Modern School opened on New Year's Day, 1911, in New York. The greater share of its offerings was dedicated to adult education, and several militant radicals were instrumental in founding the enterprise. Alexander Berkman had served 14 years of a 22-year sentence for attempting to assassinate Standard Oil's Henry Frick in 1892, and in 1893 Emma Goldman had been imprisoned for inciting a riot. Later, in 1919, both would be deported to their native Russia after two-year sentences for obstructing the draft.

Historian Will Durant, an excommunicated, former seminary student, was an early principal and married his 15-year-old pupil Ida Kaufman. Helen (West Heller) wrote that the girl was the daughter of a prostitute, and a New York magazine, The Latin Quarterly credited the artist with naming the girl, "Puck," though Will later re-named her for another Shakespeare character, Ariel. In their long lives together the Durants accrued many accolades for their writings.

Other notables around the Center included authors Jack London, Upton Sinclair, and Manuel Komroff; Leon Trotsky; poet, Lola Ridge; and the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, whose children, probably planned, attended the Modern School.

At some point Helen (West Heller) gravitated to the Center, and 'Helen West' is listed among the students of acclaimed artists Robert Henri and George Bellows. Among her classmates were Rockwell Kent, John Sloan, Emanuel Rabinowitz (later Man Ray), and the Zorachs, William and Marguerite. While she was there her signed drawing of  a small child, a subject for which she always had great facility, was the cover of the Winter, 1912-13 Modern School Magazine."

Larry Stenfal


From its inception in 1933 as an informal group within the John Reed Club to its quiet demise in 1942, the legendary Artists' Union of New York had a profound effect on the lives of its members. In the fight to obtain and expand government patronage, the union engaged in mass picketing, strikes, and sit-ins, and soon after the creation of the WPA work-relief program in the sprint of 1935, it became the de facto bargaining agent for wages and working arrangements, the large percentage of the national quote on the New York City Project the generous exceptions to the stringent relief requirements, and the hightest WPA hourly wages were substantially a result of union pressure."

Artists on the Barricades:
The Militant Artists Union
Treats with the New Deal"
by Gerald M. Monroe

Dark Matter



Helen West Heller Commandos woodcut 1942

Commandos aka Second Front
woodcut, 1942
2012, © collection of Yale University Art Gallery



H.U.A.C. (1947-1954)


The first wave of hearings of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) occurred in 1947. During this time novelist Ayn Rand testifies regarding the pro-communist slant of the film Song of Russia (1944). Many talented artists, writers and film-makers were brought before the Committee, including Lynd Ward, Rockwell Kent, Robert Rossen, Stuart Davis, William Gropper, Paul Strand, Max Webber, Paul Robeson, Hugo Gellert, Charles Chaplin, Dorothy Parker, Dalton Trumbo, and many more. It is in these hearings that the "Hollywood Ten" are blacklisted and sentenced to prison terms for contempt of Congress.


Along with approx. sixty labor and liberal leaders, artists and other leftists, Helen West Heller signed the following statement, published by the Investigation of un-American activities in the United States, Committee on Un-American Activities, in 1947:


. . . Fascism began its attack on democracy in every nation under the banner of "anti-Communism." It quickly moved on to the destruction of all political groups, trade unions, civic and religious organizations, that stood in its way.In New York, a general attack is being made on the right of any minority party to participate in the elections, with the most intensive fire being directed at removing the Communist Party from the ballot. Defending its own electoral rights in the courts now, the Communist Party, as the first and immediate object of attack, is thereby defending the American principle of free elections.


Fascism must not happen here.


We cannot permit freedom to be strangled, either by open terror or by legalistic trickery.


We, the undersigned, representing citizens of various political opinions, hereby record our strenuous objections to any undemocratic attempt to deprive any minority party of the right to the ballot. We brand such attacks as an assault on the American principle of free elections. We call upon the responsible officials of the major parties to repudiate these attacks and actively defend the basic electoral rights of all American citizens by formal and public opposition to the actions taken against the minority groups.


By word and by deed we pledge ourselves to work for the maintenance of the system of free elections for all.


from: Report on Civil Rights Congress as a communist front organization. Investigation of un-American activities in the United States, Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Eightieth Congress, first session. Public law 601 (section 121, subsection Q (2))., Published 1947



HUAC ended in 1954 after a confrontation between Secretary of the Army, Robert Stevens and Joseph McCarthy. The Army-McCarthy hearings were convened to investigate communism in the Army; but with the help of President Eisenhower and Edward Murrow's unedited footage of the hearings, the Army was vindicated and the true nature of McCarthyism becomes evident to the American public. In December McCarthy was censured for "conduct contrary to Senatorial tradition." He died three years later at age forty-eight.



Extraordinary Life & Art of
   Helen West Heller (1872 - 1955)

Helen West Heller Timeline










PABLO PICASSO   (Spanish, 1881 - 1973)



Picasso's "work, often figurative and focused on the exploration of essentially plastic problems, also maintained the capacity for emotional expression, as is evident in his works from the time of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), during which Picasso aligned himself with the Republican side. The most important work of this period is "Guernica," painted for the Spanish Pavilion in the International Exposition of 1937, in which Picasso denounced the bombing of the Basque city of Guernica by the Germans - allies of the Nationalist party led by General Francisco Franco. During the war, Picasso was named director of the Museo del Prado by the short-lived Republican government. When Franco succeeded in consolidating his power throughout Spain in 1939, initiating a dictatorship that lasted until 1975, Picasso was unable to return to Spain. . ."

The Legacy Project

PABLO PICASSO   (Spanish, 1881 - 1973)

Guernica, (1937)   oil painting, 137.4" × 305.5"


Guernica is certainly the Picasso's most powerful political statement, painted as an immediate reaction to the Nazi's devastating casual bombing practice on the Basque town of Guernica during Spanish Civil War.

Guernica shows the tragedies of war and the suffering it inflicts upon individuals, particularly innocent civilians. This work has gained a monumental status, becoming a perpetual reminder of the tragedies of war, an anti-war symbol, and an embodiment of peace. On completion Guernica was displayed around the world in a brief tour, becoming famous and widely acclaimed. This tour helped bring the Spanish Civil War to the world's attention.


“Guernica is an incredible painting but did it stop a single bullet? I’m not sure.”

Sigmund Abeles


Bull   lithographs (11 states)   1945
source: Razorshapes

“Pablo Picasso created Bull around the Christmas of 1945. Bull is a suite of eleven lithographs that have become a master class in how to develop an artwork from the academic to the abstract. In this series of images, all pulled from a single stone, Picasso visually dissects the image of a bull to discover its essential presence through a progressive analysis of its form. Each plate is a successive stage in an investigation to find the absolute ‘spirit’ of the beast.”

Tundras | rasorshapes: Pablo Picasso

According to art historian, Patricia Failing: "The bull and the horse are important characters in Spanish culture. Picasso himself certainly used these characters to play many different roles over time. This has made the task of interpreting the specific meaning of the bull and the horse very tough. Their relationship is a kind of ballet that was conceived in a variety of ways throughout Picasso's career."

In his studio Picasso kept a large wicker mask of a bull, and often played out scenes from the bullring. Is the bull Picasso himself? The artist, gazing helpless and horrified at the surrounding holocaust? Do the horse and the bull represent the fight between Loyalists and Nationalists, the stalwart Spanish people and Franco's brutal regime? Or the ongoing struggle between the female and male, perhaps a reflection of the artist's personal life? Was the enemy evident in the work, or were all of the subjects victims?

"Sometimes the bull is seen as a symbol of Spain, as a symbol of the virtues and the values of Spain and Spanish culture," says Failing. "Sometimes the relationship is one of gender and a sort of masculine force and feminine force. Sometimes it's a relationship of aggressor to something more passive. Sometimes it's a relationship between darkness and light. So the bull can be the good guy, or the bull can be the bad guy, depending on which interpretation you happen to dig up in your in your survey of reactions to Guernica."

Guenica: questions of meaning


Bull: a master class in abstraction
David Crumm, Read The Spirit
Pablo Picasso, color pochoir, Tete de jeune fille au chapeau,1965
Slideshare: Picasso - Bulls 1-11
Guernica by Pablo Picasso








ROCKWELL KENT   (American, 1882 - 1971)


ROCKWELL KENT (American, 1882 1971)

left: Workers of the World Unite   wood engraving, 1937
      8 in. x 5 7/8 in, Edition of 150
right: August XXIII, MXXVII (Sacco & Vanzetti)   wood engraving, 1927
      4 7/8 in. x 3 1/8 in. Edition of 150

A life-long pacifist dedicated to socialist causes, the artist, Rockwell Kent, expressed his proletarian beliefs in Workers of the World Unite! (1937), a wood engraving of an idealized laborer wielding a shovel, and in the lithograph (below) Wake Up America! (1945), a biting commentary on the state of democracy in America, showing a sleeping man next to an hourglass.

ROCKWELL KENT (American, 1882 1971)

Wake Up America lithograph, 1945
13 3/16 in. x 9 7/16 in., Edition of 100

The 1945 lithograph, It's Later Than You Think (Wake Up America) was done to protest the threat of the House Committee on Un-American Activities to this country - later known as McCarthyism after Senator Joseph McCarthy. It was a companion piece to the lithograph, Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty


Rockwell Kent joined the Socialist Party in 1908, but it was not until the 1930s that he became truly active in social and political causes. When the Spanish Civil War erupted, he was one of eight artists who set up easels around New York City, trying to draw attention to the destruction of Spain’s democracy.

Closest to Kent’s heart was the International Workers Order (IWO). Organized in 1930 as a fraternal benefit insurance company comprised of many different ethnic lodges, the IWO provided low-cost life insurance to its members, many of whom were recent immigrants to the United States. Kent was elected president of the IWO in 1944. In 1951, New York state’s Department of Insurance filed suit to have the IWO declared a Communist front and a threat to the country. Despite three days of eloquent testimony by Kent, who was one of only two IWO officers who were not members of the Communist Party, the court ordered that the organization be dissolved. Two years later, Kent was called before U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Books written by so-called subversive authors, including Kent, were being removed from the shelves of the State Department’s libraries overseas and then destroyed.

When Kent tried to read a prepared statement charging McCarthy with treason, the senator said, “I’ll not hear a lecture from you, Mr. Kent. To which Kent replied, “You certainly won’t, I get paid for my lectures.

Rockwell Kent: This is My Own



Who Is Rockwell Kent?
The Never-Ending Wrong: The Exxecution of Sacco and Vanzetti
    Artists Respond to Sacco and Vanzetti
The Enigmatic Grandeur of Rockwell Kent
Art History News: Rockwell Kent
Paramour Fine Arts: Rockwell Kent
Cape Cod Culture
   Cape Cinema
   Rockwell Kent and the Cape Cinema Mural

May Day, 1947







JOSE CLEMENTE OROZCO   (Mexican, 1883 - 1949)


JOSE CLEMENTE OROZCO   (Mexican, 1883 - 1949)

Greif, lithograph

JOSE CLEMENTE OROZCO   (Mexican, 1883 - 1949)

Drowning,   drawing, 1947

Jose Clemente Orozco portfolio
Dead Woman







GEORGE BIDDLE   (American, 1885-1973)


GEORGE BIDDLE   (American, 1885-1973)

Sacco and Vanzetti,   lithograph, (1930)

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Night of the Revolution litho, 1930
MIssissippi Code: Our gals don't sleep with Niggers litho, 1933
Death on the Plains litho, 1936
Dolce et decorum est litho, 1934







DIEGO RIVERA   (Mexico, 1886 - 1957)


Rivera, drawing
DIEGO RIVERA   (Mexico, 1886-1957)
Revolutionaries, sketch

The Communicating Vessels,   lithograph, (1930)

Diego Rivera's print, The Communicating Vessels (1938), is a homage to Andre Breton, after his likening of the relationship between waking and dreaming to the ebb and flow of liquid between two vessels . . . - Lucia Lanigan


"Rivera painted murals many of which had strong Socialist themes - Man at the Crossroads aka Man Master of the Universe or Time Machine (1933) was painted at the Rockefeller Center in New York - however it caused a great deal of controversy because it included a portrait of Lenin - the first leader of the Soviet Union - and it was destroyed."


A photograph of the original unfinished mural, before its destruction, was taken by Lucienne Bloch, one of Diego Rivera’s assistants.

"After Diego Rivera’s Man at the Crossroads mural was destroyed by its Rockefeller Center patrons for the inclusion of an image of Lenin, the Coit Tower muralists protested, picketing the tower. Sympathy for Rivera led some artists to incorporate leftist ideas and composition elements in their works. Bernard Zakheim’s Library depicts fellow artist John Langley Howard crumpling a newspaper in his left hand as he reaches for a shelved copy of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital with his right. — Wikipedia"

The Murals of Coit Tower



The Mural Project
Detroit could auction it 12 Diego Rivera murals. . .
National Palace Diego Rivera Murals
Virtual Diego Rivera Web Museum   (slideshow)

Man at the Crossroads
El Arsenal, mural
Detroit Industry north wall mural
Detroit Industry, mural

sketchbook entry







FRANS MASEREEL   (Belgium, 1889-1972)


FRANS MASEREEL,   (Belgium, 1889-1972)

La Colere, (1944-45)
book with 20 plates by F. Masereel, Bern, H. Lang

FRANS MASEREEL,   (Belgium, 1889-1972)

Arise You Dead, Infernal Resurrection, woodcut, 1917

In the woodcut Arise You Dead, Infernal Resurrection (1917) Masereel used scenes and photographs from newspapers as the basis for his stark, black and white prints. In this print two headless bodies carry their heads on a stretcher, one with a French cap and the other with a German helmet. It shows the madness and futility of the war situation. . .


Politische Zeichnungen von Frans Masereel
(Political Drawings by Frans Masereel)
Published 1920 by Erich Reiss in Berlin.
Written in French and German.
Introduction in German.

Frans Masereel by Kasimir Edschmid
The Belgian Masereel, who is a good European, has characterized the fate of need, as another cries or dies. He has been a good soldier, and his military service at the idea started earlier and more violent than any of the satellites of violence and every day he gave Geneva, Feuille 'a sheet threw himself against the madness of the world. The artist had since a Tribune, of which he preaches as only some of the great monks. . .

(page 7 of introduction)

Title: "Notification Message from Chile"
Wilson's message was received in the officals circles, commercial and political as ample demonstration of a long duration of the war. All applaud a firmness of ideas.

Page 16: CONSCIENCE 1917

"We are all fighting under the command of the conscience of humanity." - from Clemenceau's speech at the conclusion of the international conference.

Page 55. MEN AND WAR
(The peop;e and the war.)
Title: "The Eloquence."


Page 60. MEN AND WAR
(The people and the war.)
Title: "The Sore"

"Nobody expects peace this year." - M. the depute Borlaud has the American House.


Title: "Dead to kill the war."
Washington (Havas). The League of Nations provides for a military action to protect its members





Graphic Witness: Frans Masereel








ISAC FRIEDLANDER   (Latvian 1890 - American 1968)


ISAC FRIEDLANDER,   (Latvian 1890 - American 1968)

Whither,  drypoint (1945)

ISAC FRIEDLANDER,   (Latvian 1890 - American 1968)

untitled,  woodcut (nd)

ISAC FRIEDLANDER,   (Latvian 1890 - American 1968)

3 A.M.,  drypoint (1933)

In 1929, with the encouragement of his cousin, Joseph Hirshhorn, Friedlander began his long and frustrating odyssey as an immigrant bound for America. When at last he arrived in the States, he found, in place of a land of challenge and opportunity, a nation locked in the grip of the Great Depression. Human suffering, unemployment, and despair were everywhere he looked. For him, how- ever, deprivation and man's struggle to cope with it had been the only way of life he knew. Indeed, his art was firmly rooted in the imagery of human suffering and of man's struggle with ad- versity: first in those youthful drawings in a czarist prison, then in the art of his homesick student days in Rome, and more recently in his work while teaching in Latvia. It was only natural, therefore, that his art during those depression years should focus on the lives and sufferings of the downtrodden he found wandering the streets of New York.

Paramour Fine Arts

Self Portrait, wood engraving, 1935
Derelict 2 etching (1933)
3 A.M., etching, 1933







JOHN HEARTFIELD   (German, 1891 - 1968)


JOHN HEARTFIELD,   (German, 1891 - 1968)

Goeringer der Henker photomontage
from Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung (AIZ)
(The Workers Pictorial Newspaper (1924-1938)

JOHN HEARTFIELD,   (German, 1891 - 1968)

As In The Middle Ages so in The Third Reich,   photomontage, 1934

JOHN HEARTFIELD,   (German, 1891 - 1968)

Peace and Fascism,   photomontage

Photography As A Weapon
John Heartfield: Official Internet Archive
Gordon Queen
Blood and Iron







OTTO DIX   (German, 1891-1969)

As a young man you don’t notice at all that you were, after all, badly affected. For years afterwards, at least ten years, I kept getting these dreams, in which I had to crawl through ruined houses, along passages I could hardly get through…

Otto Dix


OTTO DIX,   (German, 1891-1969)

left: Der Krieg (The War)
portfolio of fifty-one etchings published in 1924

right: Fliehender Verwundeter (Sommeschlacht 1916)
Wounded Man Fleeing (Battle of the Somme 1916)
plate 10 from Der Krieg (The War)


OTTO DIX,   (German, 1891-1969)

Verwundeter (Herbst 1916, Bapaume) (1924)
(Wounded soldier Autumn 1916, Bapaume) etching, aquatint & drypoint

OTTO DIX,   (German, 1891-1969)

Storm-troops Advancing Under Gas, (1924) etching & aquatint


Der Krieg, created by Otto Dix, is a portfolio of fifty-one etchings published in 1924. Dix served as a German machine-gunner during the First World War. Mark Henshaw of the National Gallery of Australia wrote "the experience affected him profoundly, and in each nightmarish scene of Der Krieg, Dix forces the viewer also to confront the horror of war, in brutal detail." In Dix’s work, Henshaw also finds “a sensuous quality and an almost perverse delight in the rendering of horrific detail.” Dix said of his work, “I did not paint war pictures in order to prevent war. I would never have been so arrogant. I painted them to exorcise the experience of war. All art is about exorcism.” The controversial etching of a soldier raping a nun in Der Krieg cycle, was originally excluded from the portfolio’s 1924 publication.


OTTO DIX,   (German, 1891-1969)

Skull, (1924)   etching & aquatint

OTTO DIX,   (German, 1891-1969)

Soldier Raping a Nun, (1924)   etching & aquatint
plate 51 from Der Krieg (The War) portfolio


Otto Dix, Der Krieg (The War)
Reality Show: Otto Dix
The Art of War - Otto Dix's Der Krieg cycle
Levet Scone: Otto Dix
Otto Dix and the First World War (1924)
Otto Dix National Gallery of Australia
Otto Dix's war art
Parasito Urbano
Horse Cadaver from Der Krieg / The War series, 1924
Rape of a Nun 51st print in "The War" series







HUGO GELLERT   (American, 1892 - 1985)


HUGO GELLERT   (American, 1892 - 1985)

covers of New Masses, left: May 1926; right: September 1928

HUGO GELLERT (American, 1892-1985)
Primary Accumulation 19   (1933), lithograph
From the portfolio of 60 lithographs by Hugo Gellert
with accompanying text, Karl Marx' Capital in Pictures
printed by E. Desjobert, Paris, France, 1933.
source: Keith Sheridan - American Fine Prints

In Unity there is Strength, lithograph

Wounded Striker & Soldier, 1936, lithograph
From the portfolio Aesop Said So, a work of 20 lithographs
with text, drawn and written by Hugo Gellert in 1936
source: Keith Sheridan - American Fine Prints


Hugo Gellert was born in Hungary in 1892 and emigrated to the United States with his family in 1906. He was a very well-known artist in this country during the 1930s, yet he has essentially been forgotten. Gellert's activities contributed greatly to the social tone of 1930s American. He was a contributing artist to the Masses and was a founding editor of the Liberator and the New Masses. Gellert occupied a seminal position in organizing the John Reed Club and the Artists' Union. . ." (AskArt)

"Gellet 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

Graphic Witness: Hugo Gellert
A Depression Art Gallery
Art & Activism of Hugo Gellert
Un vallekano en Rumania: Hugo Gellert
Seward Park Murals
The Working Day, no. 37 (c. 1933) lithograph








(Italy, June 11, 1888 - USA, August 23, 1927)


(Italy, April 22, 1891 - USA, August 23, 1927)



Venzetti and Sacco in handcuffs, Dedham Courthouse, 1923


Sacco and Vanzetti were two Italian workers who emigrated to the United States in 1918; however they did not met each other until a few years later during a labor strike. Sacco was a shoe factory worker and Vanzetti a fishmonger. Both were Italian-born anarchists who were convicted together of murdering two men during an armed robbery of a shoe factory in South Braintree, Massachusetts, in 1920.

"A controversial trial in 1921 resulted in the men's conviction, despite equivocal ballistics evidence and numerous witnesses who claimed Sacco had been in Boston's North End and Vanzetti in Plymouth, Massachusetts on the day of the robbery. To explain why they had been found armed when arrested, both defendants had to recount their anarchist beliefs in court, leading to suspicions that this may have prejudiced the jury."

Sacco and Vanzetti were killed in the electric chair at Charlestown Prison, Boston, Massachusetts on August 23, 1923.

In 1977, exactly 50 years later, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis issued a proclamation that Sacco and Vanzetti had been unfairly tried and convicted and that "any disgrace should be forever removed from the names of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti."

based on information from Wilkipedia


"Amidst a seeming wave of domestic terrorism, the 1920 murder of two payroll guards in Braintree, Massachusetts, exploded into what could arguably be described as the trial of the century. Earlier that year, a plot had been exposed in which thirty bombs, disguised as free samples from the Gimbels department store, had been sent to such pillars of American capitalism as J. P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller, as well as to U.S. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer. Palmer was responsible for the prosecution and deportation of thousands of radicals, including labor organizers, peace advocates, and other "undesirables." Although the plot had not succeeded for lack of sufficient postage, in the resulting atmosphere of shock, fear, and repression, two working-class Italian Americans with anarchist connections, Bartolomeo Vanzetti and Nicola Sacco, were not only accused of the crime, but also became scapegoats in the reaction to the supposed threat of the combined forces of labor unrest, new waves of immigration, and the advance of the "red menace" that followed the end of World War I. . .

. . . the outcome of the trial and the response to it were as much influenced by what had happened outside the courtroom as by what took place under the watchful, if not unbiased, eyes of Judge Webster Thayer. The controversy over the "guilty” verdict was not simply the natural outcome of the contested evidence presented at the trial; it was also a consequence of the widely held suspicion that “alien” forces were threatening the American way of life.

. . . Despite Judge Thayer’s characterization of the defendants as “anarchist bastards,” a series of appeals against perjured testimony and judicial bias were denied. The Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee, supported by novelist John Dos Passos, poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, and artist Rockwell Kent, among others, upheld the innocence of the accused with a series of publications and other fund-raising activities in an effort to draw attention to the arbitrary actions of the prosecution in its denial of the civil rights of the defendants.


The Never-ending Story: The Execution of Sacco and Vanzetti
Syracuse University Library


". . . Both Sacco and Vanzetti refused a priest but both men went peacefully and proudly to their deaths. Sacco's final words were "Viva l'anarchia!" and "Farewell, mia madre." Vanzetti, in his final moments, gently shook hands with guards and thanked them for their kind treatment, read a statement proclaiming his innocence, and finally said, "I wish to forgive some people for what they are now doing to me." Their bodies were cremated. Sacco's ashes are in Torremaggiore, the town of his birth. The location of Vanzetti's ashes is unknown. Fellow Galleanists did not take news of the executions with equanimity. At the funeral parlor in Hanover Street, a wreath announced Aspettando l'ora di vendetta (Awaiting the hour of vengeance).

A few days after the executions, Sacco's widow thanked Italian anarchist Severino Di Giovanni by letter for his support and added that the director of the tobacco firm Combinados had offered to produce a cigarette brand named "Sacco and Vanzetti." On November 26, 1927, Di Giovanni and his comrades bombed a Combinados tobacco shop shortly afterwards.

Di Giovanni, one of the most vocal supporters of Sacco and Vanzetti in Argentina, bombed the American embassy in Buenos Aires a few hours after Sacco and Vanzetti were condemned to death. On December 24, 1927, Di Giovanni blew up the headquarters of the Citibank and of the Bank of Boston in Buenos Aires in apparent protest of the execution. In December 1928, Di Giovanni and his comrades failed in an attempt to bomb the train in which President Herbert Hoover traveled during his visit to Argentina.

Following the sentencing of Sacco and Vanzetti in 1927, a package bomb addressed to Governor Fuller was intercepted in the Boston post office. Three months later, bombs exploded in the New York subway, in a Philadelphia church, and at the home of the mayor of Baltimore. One of the jurors in the Dedham trial had his house bombed, throwing him and his family from their beds. Less than a year after the executions, a bomb destroyed the front porch of the home of executioner Robert Elliott. As late as 1932, Judge Thayer's home was wrecked and his wife and housekeeper injured in a bomb blast. Afterward, Thayer lived permanently at his club in Boston, guarded 24 hours a day until his death. . .


For more images check-out the following slideshow!



Sacco and Vanzetti Commemoration Society
   Sacco and Vanzetti Buttons
   2008 Howard Zinn's lecture (video)
The Never-Ending Wrong
CCB Sacco-Vanzetti Memorial and Award
Sacco and Vanzetti photo gallery
   Index of / history/usa/pubs
   Red Cartoons - table of contents
   The Daily Workers - Cartoons
   The Masses

Sacco e Vanzetti illustration
cover of the Lantern"
11-07-2008 - Howard Zinn event poster
The Case of Sacco and Vanzetti in Cartoons
   • Have a Chair
Fred Ellis While The Working Class Sleeps Daily Worker, Nov 4, 1927
Fred Ellis: Sacco and Vanzetti Must Not Die The Daily Worker







GEORGE GROSZ   (Germany, 1893 - America1959)


German artist George Grosz is known especially for his satirical drawings of 1920s and 1930s that captured the mood of the Weimar Republic and Berlin society. He was a member of the Berlin Dada and New Objectivity groups, and his work expressed the despair, hate and disillusionment of that era. A prominent opponent of the Nazi regime, by 1933 the artist was forced to immigrate to the USA. There he began teaching at the Art Students League in New York. In 1954 Grosz entered the American Academy of Arts and Letters and four years later the Academy of Fine Arts of Germany.



GEORGE GROSZ,   (Germany, 1893 - America1959)

Ecce Homo

The publication of "Ecce Homo" was banned in Germany in 1923. The action was brought against George Grosz and the Ecco Homo based on a law that had not been evoked in centuries. The charge: defaming public morals, corrupting the inborn sense of shame and virtue innate in the German people. Grosz and "Ecce Homo" were found guilty. Grosz was fined 6000 marks and the plates of "Ecco Homo" was confiscated and destroyed.

GEORGE GROSZ,   (Germany, 1893 - America1959)

Toads of Property, (1921) drawing

GEORGE GROSZ,   (Germany, 1893 - America1959)

Aristocrats, (c. 1922) drawing


GEORGE GROSZ,   (Germany, 1893 - America1959)

, (c. 1922) lithograph


GEORGE GROSZ,   (Germany, 1893 - America1959)

Ecce Homo, (1924) ink drawing

"In 1924, years before Hitler had come to power, German Artist George Grosz caused outrage in "respectable society" by creating a drawing titled "Ecce Homo." The work portrayed Jesus Christ on the Cross wearing a gas mask and army boots. Grosz captioned the drawing, "Keep your mouth shut and do your duty!" Grosz had himself fought in the trenches of the first world war and so was familiar with the stench of death. His drawing ridiculed the bourgeois who extolled the "Prince of Peace" while simultaniously preparing for war. The state charged Grosz with blasphemy. He was first found guilty but later acquitted in 1932 during an appeal. Grosz fled his native Berlin in 1932 and came to the USA just three weeks before Hitler and his thugs took the reigns of power."

Baltimore IMC


Acting-Out Politics
Hintergrund: 17 drawing (1928)
The Drawings of George Grosz

George Grosz's - Ecce Homo
The Wanderer
Toads of Global Economy







JOAN MIRÓ   (Spanish 1893-1983)


JOAN MIRÓ   (Spanish 1893-1983)
Aidez L'Espagne! 1937 color pochoir
Published as a loose insert in Cahier d'art   (1937)
Spaightwood Galleries


Aidez L'Espagne! (above) is an original color pochoir. Published in 1937 at the height of the Spanish Civil War as a loose insert in Cahier d'art (1937) to draw support for the Republican government, then under attack by Franco (aided by Nazi and Fascist "volunteers"). Printed by Imprimerie moderne, Paris. A beautiful print with the surface texture of a gouache.


"In the late 1920s and 1930s, Miró was exploring Surrealisn as a means of transcending the limits of normal vision. . . (He) experimented with pochoir, etching, lithography, and linocut, creating his first and only linocur in 1938. . . For color, Miró was exploring using the pochoir (stencil), and experimenting with etching in black and white and in color. In his pochoirs, all of the color is brushed on, giving the print the surface of a gouache. This technical experimentation coincided with his involvement in the Surrealist movement and, even more so, the Surrealist vision. It also coincided with the Spanish Civil War (Miró was a Republican Loyalist and hated fascists of all stripes, particularly Franco. . . "

Spaightwood Galleries









WILLIAM GROPPER   (Amercian, 1897 - 1977)


WILLIAM GROPPER   (Amercian, 1897 - 1977)

Miners,   watercolor, 1935

WILLIAM GROPPER   (Amercian, 1897 - 1977)

The Opposition,   lithograph, 1942
published by Associated American Artists


"William Gropper was born in 1897 in the Russian-Jewish ghetto of New York's Lower East Side and lived his entire life in or near New York City. While poverty forced him to drop out of high school, Gropper did manage to study part time with realist artists Robert Henri and George Bellows. In 1917 he was hired as a staff artist at the New York Tribune and later for several radical magazines [including the New Masses].

Gropper’s social consciousness grew out of his impoverished childhood and his work as a teenager in the garment district sweatshops. In 1927-28 he visited Soviet Russia with American authors Theodore Dreiser and Sinclair Lewis as delegates to the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution which put the Bolsheviks and Lenin in power. This experience reinforced his commitment to exposing social injustice and class inequality through his art. He believed art could induce political change in a democratic society, and his caricatures of America's wealthy and powerful politicians and captains of industry were meant to educate the American people. . .

[During the Great Depression] William Gropper painted several murals for the WPA/ Federal Art Project in the 1930s. Angered when the Senate eliminated relief programs for artists, he responded with his painting [and lithograph], The Opposition . . .

In 1953 he was questioned about his politics by Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Gropper was among the first American artists and intellectuals to be blacklisted by the senator. . . ."

University of Rochester


Strike 1936 by William Gropper
source: our daily bread


In 1953 William Gropper was called to testify before "Beloved & Respected Comrade Senator Tail-Gunner" Joseph McCarthy & his "Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations" aka the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Gropper allowed the State Department to distribute prints of his painting William Gropper's America: Its Folklore, c1946, celebrating American folklore. Senator McCarthy considered the pictures "subversive," & questioned why copies were kept by US embassies abroad. To avoid self-incrimination, Gropper pleaded the Fifth - another source says he refused to appear. The senator believed the picture featuring the likenesses of folk characters such as Paul Bunyan & Rip Van Winkle revealed valuable secrets to communists. . .

Rill of Rights, 1953 ->
by William Gropper

"Despite receiving substantially fewer public and private commissions and offers to exhibit his work during the McCarthy era, Gropper continued to paint. As the times changed, he was able to show his work once again across the United States and abroad. . .



People Art My Landscape
   • Cartoons & Murals, Paintings & Prints
   • The Capriccios, 50 lithographs completed between 1953-56
Cartoon from the Daily Worker:
   • Red Cartoons 1927
   • Red Cartoons 1928
   • Red Cartoons, 1929








BEN SHAHN   (Lithuania, 1898 - America, 1969)


BEN SHAHN   (Lithuania, 1898 - America, 1969)

Sacco and Vanzentti

"If it had not been for these things, I might have lived out my life talking at street corners to scorning men. I might have died, unmarked, unknown, a failure. Now we are not a failure. This is our career and our triumph. Never in our full life could we hope to do such work for tolerance, for justice, for man's understanding of man as now we do by accident. Our words - our lives - our pains - nothing! The taking of our lives - lives of a good shoemaker and a poor fish-peddler - all! That last moment belongs to us - that agony is our triumph."

Statement attributed to Bartolomeo Vanzetti
by Philip D. Stong, a reporter for the North American
Newspaper Alliance who ho visited Vanzetti in prison
in May of 1927 shortly before he & Sacco were executed.

Ben Shahn created this poster to protest the execution of Bartolomeo Vanzetti and Nicolo Sacco who were electrocuted in 1927. He chose as the text a statement Vanzetti made to a reporter shortly before their deaths. A few months later, in February 1928, the Atlantic Monthly published a detailed account of Vanzetti's last conversation with his attorney the night before the executions . . . To their supporters, the electrocution of Sacco and Vanzetti was proof that freedom of thought and freedom of expression were hollow phrases. . . Fifty years after their execution, Katherine Anne Porter wrote of the Sacco-Vanzetti case as "The Never-Ending Wrong." As a young woman she had taken an active part in the protests against the executions.



BEN SHAHN   (Lithuanian/American 1898 - 1969)
"The Prisoners Sacco and Vanzetti", egg tempera (1931-32)

Some would call this Expressionist - after all, Shahn was never shy about expressing his political views. Others might be inclined to call it a cartoon. The subjects, being dead, were in no position to commission this work and influence how naturalistically Shahn might have painted them.

"Sacco and Vanzetti handcuffed together during trial"
news photograph (1931)

The painting was based on a photograph of Sacco and Vanzetti. Why did Shahn want to paint this image? The photograph seems just as affective as the painting. - maybe more so.

Blowhards: Portraits and Modernism


The Sleep of Reason Begets Brutality (2003) digital collage
left: This is Nazi brutality poster by Ben Shahn, 1942
Printed by the Government - Office for the Office of War Information

right: Brutality at Abu Ghraib, photograph, 2006
Copyright © 2013 Scattergood-Moore   digital photograph




Richard Serra, Abu Ghraib, 2004
RICHARD SERRA   (USA, b. 1939)

Abu Ghraib, (2004) lithoghraph
also see:
Stop B S, (2004) lithograph

"This hooded figure from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq has become one the first iconographic images of the 21st century. Printed at Gemini GEL this print was one of a number of works by various artists done to help fundraise for the organization America Coming Together: Artists Coming Together included Frank Gehry, Jasper Johns, Susan Rothenberg, Elizabeth Murray, John Baldessari, Cecily Brown, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha and Richard Serra. Each donated a limited number of signed, original works to be given to select ACT donors. This is one of those impressions. . .

Annex Galleries Fine Prints

Ku Klux Klan robe

(Ku Klux Klan leaders)


"WHAT SHALL I PAINT?' - the answer is a pretty obvious one, 'Paint what you are, paint what you believe, paint what you feel.' But to go a little deeper, such a question seems to indicate an absence of opinion, or perhaps it indicates a belief, not an uncommon one, that painting ought to be this or ought to be that, that there is some preferred list of appropriate subjects. Again I think that many young people if they ere asked, 'What do you believe, or hold most dear?' would reply honestly, 'I do not know.' And so we again go back to our first outline for an education: 'In college or out of college, READ, and FORM OPINIONS.'"

Ben Shahn, "The Shape of Content"


Trauma Narratives
Ben Shahn: Artist and Activist
The Trial of Sacco & Vanzetti
  • poster








RICO LEBRUN   (Italian / American, 1900 - 1964)


RICO LEBRUN   (Italian / American, 1900 - 1964)

left: Standing Beggar,  lithograph, (1945)
right: Rabbit,  lithograph, (1945)

Rico Lebrun's early paintings - beggars, clowns, cripple and street musicians - some of which were included in the exhibition "American 1942" at the Museum of Modern Art, showed the influence of Italian and Spanish baroque painting and were highly romantic in mood. It was only by slow and deliberate stages that he achieved his unique dramatic monumentality.

RICO LEBRUN   (Italian / American, 1900 - 1964)

Crucifixion   (1950) 16; x 26; oil on paper board, (1950)

From 1947 to 1950 he was engaged in his most ambitious undertaking - the "Crucifixion Series" - where he had the courage to use a subject most heavily weighted with tradition for a revenant communication of "man's blindness and inhumanity."


Hands from Crunewald (1946)

after Paolo Veronese's 'Judith and Holopherne' (1952)
pen and ink drawing from the collection of Scattergood-Moore

Crucifixion from Grunewald (1961)

Geneis (1960)
Polyvinyl acetate paint on gypsum plaster (29' x 25')
Frary Hall, Pomona College, California


RICO LEBRUN   (Italian / American, 1900 - 1964)

Buchenwald Pit,   charcoal on canvas (1955)

RICO LEBRUN   (Italian / American, 1900 - 1964)

Buchenwald Cart,  oil painting, (1956)
Collection of Santa Barbara Museum of Art

RICO LEBRUN   (Italian / American, 1900 - 1964)

study for Dachau Chamber,   (1958)


In painting, as in everything else, I prefer situations which make both myself and the image vulnerable, and thus open to risk as well as to discovery. Design is for me the speech of form tried and altered by vicissitudes. And because of this, the human figure is my favorite subject; I prefer its vertical, horizontal and oblique gestures to all other propositions of abstraction, being convinced that they are the richest and most alive3 in every sense.

Because of my place of birth, I am, essentially, in love with wall painting. By wall painting I mean the tragic arabesque, organic and pertinent as a seismograph, and not the descriptive nor the historical. Paradoxically enough I call what I wish to do Interior decoration. But the "Interior" has here another meaning, and the room, the pallor I wish to speak about, is in the edifice of man.

The painter, faced with the contest between freewheeling ego expression itself, and the canonical points of the fugue questing this expression, has a hard task. In the works of Emily Dickinson, he finds that, if "A Bone has obligations, a Being has the same."

I believe that if an authentic, unprecedented image of man is to appear, it will only be through a complete acceptance of that obligation to sponsor, revel and celebrate man's condition. This is a subject which cannot be prefabricated by conceits, but may condescend, now and then, to be measured by love e. Its terrain is immense. We have so far only written postcards about "wishing to be there," or a best made trill trips, and, in trying to cross it. have often thrown in the sponge, and achieved that silhouettes of capitulation which pass for "style." For signet and mind are dull and frequently unequal to the task of shaping Composition with the same appalling unity man can maintain through the most terrible reverses. He is the organic and spiritual marvel and the text for revelations.

In the painting of Buchenwald and Dachau I wanted to express the believe that the human image, even when disfigured by the executioner, is grand in meaning. No brutality will ever cancel that meaning. Painting may increase it by changing what is disfigured into what is transfigured.

The theme is about those who disappeared and are no longer mentioned. When their hour struck and they were bumped in the pit, the dial of their limbs marked the awful time of day. So composition was born out of the shocked heart. First a man, second a draughtsman, I had to find out for myself that pain has a geometry of its own; and that my being, through a revulsion against all tolerable and manageable skill, wanted to speak out in a single shout.
It is this coincidence of ink or paint with the sentiments, which I hope to find now more and more in my work as I proceed. Compassion and the resolute heart shall be the only guides, shall be, in fact, the technique.

Rico Lebrun, New Haven Conn., 1959
New Images of Man exhibition by Howard Selz, for MoMA, 1959


"Rico Lebrun attended the Naples Academy of Fine Arts, where he was immersed in classical art history and anatomically realistic figuration. He moved to New York in 1924 to work in a stained glass factory. He was commissioned by the FAP/WPA but, by 1939, was forced to abandon a partially completed mural in Penn Station; the building was torn down! This discouraging event made easy the decision to move to California, retreating to colleague Channing Peake's Santa Barbara ranch. Influenced by the ranch lands and the warm light and color of Southern California, he began his farm implements series.. .and his Crucifixion cycle. In symbolic paintings of the 1940s, beggars, cripples, harlequins and clowns became vehicles for communicating the tragic condition of man as a result of war and poverty. In 1947, after a moving to Los Angeles, he joined the faculty at the Jepson Art Institute and came to a completion of his Crucifixion theme."

Tobey C. Moss Gallery


Much of Rico Lebrun's art is somber in appearance and often addresses death and human suffering. Devoting a large portion of his career to themes such as the crucifixion of Christ and the Holocaust, Lebrun transformed these events into the grandest of dramatic tragedies. As Lebrun stated, they tell a story of "man’s blindness and inhumanity.” Evident in the very line of his disfigured forms and the dark, monochromatic appearance of much of his work, Lebrun adhered to his own artistic philosophy that "the very fact that a great work of art depicts the negative side in the fight for humanity is in itself a fulfillment." For Lebrun, drawing remains at the heart of his work. He made hundreds of studies in preparation for his large-scale paintings and murals."

Lebrun, Rico, "Notes by the Artist on the Crucifixion Theme"
from W.R. Valentiner, Rico Lebrun: Paintings
and Drawings of the Crucifixion
, 1950


Tobey C. Moss Gallery
Rico Lebrun images
tumblr: Rico Lebrun
Pomona College Museum of Art: Lebrun's Genesis
New Images of Man exhibition by Howard Selz, for MoMA, 1959

Rabbit, lithograph, 1945
Seated Beggar Leaning on Cane, lithograph, 1945
Standing Beggar, lithograph, 1945
Two Mourning Figures, lithograph, 1945
3 Studies for 'Three Penny Opera', pen and ink wash, 1961
Three Penny Opera (2 figures), pen and ink wash, 1961
Crucifixion, mural, 1950, Syracuse University
Members of the Resurrection, ink, 1958







LYND WARD   (American, 1905 - 1985)


LYND WARD   (American, 1905 - 1985)

2 woodcuts from: Wild Pilgrimage, a novel in woodcuts

LYND WARD   (American, 1905 - 1985)

(lynching), (1932) woodcut
2 woodcuts from: Wild Pilgrimage, a novel in woodcuts (1932)

LYND WARD   (American, 1905 - 1985)

Cup of Sky   wood engraving, (nd)


". . . The Great Depression that emerged on the other side of the Crash of 1929 spread ripples of trauma across the globe and in response fascist and authoritarian political regimes—never missing an opportunistic moment and a desperate, malleable populace—moved to the forefront in many European countries, most notably the Third Reich in Germany; born of economic despair, the expansionist dreams of Germany, Italy, and Japan would lead to the Second World War, a nightmare that anti-fascists like Harry Ward tried to thwart while anti-interventionists like Walt Disney promoted American insulation from a chaos that the United States had no small role in creating.

The early Thirties was a time when it seemed problematical whether the great, complicated American economic machine, which had but recently made such confident promises about the future, could ever be cranked up again, Lynd Ward writes in the 1974 essay On ‘Wild Pilgrimage’, expressing sentiments that are downright eerie in their contemporary application.

But to many thoughtful persons, Ward continues, the real question was whether getting things going again was all that worthwhile, for to do so seemed to promise an existence so mechanized and thereby brutalized that the only possible salvation for any individual lay in somehow getting away from it all.

Ward was writing about the “urban and industrial” wastelands that modern American cities had become in the interwar years between the two World Wars, what he saw as a Kafkaesque struggle between the underpaid and overworked laborer, fascistic corporations, and “the impersonal social forces” that negate and invalidate the importance of the individual.

Lynd Ward and Walt Disney: Illustrators of
America's Tumultuous History


Lynd Ward's, wood engraving from Prelude to a Million Years (1933)


God's Man (1929) and Prelude to a Million Years (1933), explored the art vs. society theme Lynd Ward was passionate about. His "prose poem" Song Without Words (1936) is a grimly terrifying and hallucinatory anti-war scream. Wild Pilgrimage (1932) is a powerful example of Ward's concern for social injustice and Vertigo (1937) is an ambitious and sprawling tale of class struggle told from multiple perspectives.

Another novel in woodcuts:
Madman's Drum (1930)



Director's Statement



Picsto Pin: Lynd Ward
NPR: Ward's "Woodcuts' Tell Novels Without Words
Lynd Ward and Walt Disney
Six Novels in Woodcuts
Melhores Pinturas Pelo Artista
Neither Kings nor Americans
  • God's Man (1929)
  • Madman's Drum (1930)
  • Wild Pilgrimage (1932)
  • Prelude to a MIllion Years (1933)
    Song without Words (1936)

  • Vertigo (1937)
217 Films
  • O Brother Man (director's statement)
  • O Brother Man (video excerpts)
Beaver Pond
The Extraordinary Life and Art of Helen West Heller
Portfolio > Lynd Ward

untitled magazine illustration
Song Without Words
Vertigo (merry-go-round)
Vertigo (rolllercoaster)
Wild Pilgrimage (lynching)
Giant 1955, wood engraving







LI HUA   (Chinese, 1907 - 1994)


LI HUA   (Chinese, 1907 - 1994)

Roar, China!,  wooodcut (1935)

LI HUA   (Chinese, 1907 - 1994)

Arise Suffering Slaves,  woodcut (1947)
from the Raging Tide series of woodcuts

LI HUA   (Chinese, 1907 - 1994)

Struggle,  woodcut (1947)
from the Raging Tide series of woodcuts

LI HUA   (Chinese, 1907 - 1994)

au secours (For Help!),  woodcut (1947)
from the Raging Tide series of woodcuts

"Li Hua, a Chinese woodcut artist and communist known for his participation in left-wing activities, was born on March 6, 1907 in Panyu, Guangdong. He graduated from the Municipal Guangzhou Art School in 1926 and remained there as a teacher. In 1930, Li went to Japan to study fine arts at Kawabata Art School in Tokyo. He returned to Guangzhou in 1932, after the Mukden Incident broke out, and served once again as a teacher at the art school where he had studied. At that time, he began to learn woodcutting art. He was influenced by Lu Xun who regarded him as one of the most promising woodcut artists of his generation. In June 1934, Li founded the Modern Woodcut Society at the Guangzhou Art School with an initial membership of 27. He produced many woodcuts to protest against the invasion by the Japanese army and the decaying government that was led by Chiang Kai-shek. One of Li's notable woodcut series was Raging Tide from 1947. In 1950, he became a professor of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and continued his artistic creations. Li did not officially joining the Communist Party of China until 1953, his work had been associated with the leftist cause for many years. He died in Beijing at the Peking Union Medical Hospital in 1994.


LI HUA   (Chinese, 1907 - 1994)

untitled,  wooodcut (nd)



Li Hua
Revolution in Black-and-White
Metroplitan Museum: Chinese Prints


For Help 1947
being taken away
prisoner in cell







FRIDA KAHLO   (Mexico, 1907 - 1954)


"Kahlo was very proud of her Mexican cultural heritage, in the face of the growing Americanization of the country at the time.
Her life was marked by personal suffering, contracting polio as a child, being severely injured in a bus accident as a young woman, leaving her unable to have children and needing many painful operations. Much of her art deals with the pain of these experiences.
She was married (twice) to Mexican political artist Diego Rivera."




Self portrait Between the Borderline of Mexico and the United States









(Japan, 1908 - USA, 1994)


Taro Yashima was the pseudonym of Atsushi Iwamatsu, a Japanese artist, expatriate in the U.S. after about age thirty. Iwamatsu who was born September 21, 1908, in Nejima, Kimotsuki District, Kagoshima, and raised there on the southern coast of Kyushu.

As an artist, Taro Yashima was best known for his beautifully illustrated children's books. Active in leftist circles in Japan, he and his wife left Japan fearing political repression in 1939, ending up in New York City. During World War II, he worked for the Office of War Information and Office of Strategic Services, producing propaganda leaflets. He published the autobiographical volumes "The New Sun" (1943) and "Horizon Is Calling" (1947) describing his life as an artist in Japan and his and his family's escape to the U.S.; both tell their stories through drawings with short captions. Written initially for his young daughter Momo, he became an acclaimed writer and illustrator of children's books; three of his books became Caldecott Honor Books. He and his family moved to Los Angeles in 1954, where he continued his work as a painter, author, illustrator and art teacher at the ___ until his death in 1994.


Taro Yashima, an artist and author born in Japan who aided the United States during World War II, has died at the age of 85. . . at Glendale Memorial Hospital.

He and his wife, Mitsu, were imprisoned and beaten as suspected communists for opposing Japan's slide into militarism. The couple immigrated to New York in 1939, and Taro wrote "The New Sun," an account of their imprisonment and their work with the Japan Proletarian Artists League.

The book caught the attention of the U.S. Office of War Information, which immediately recruited Yashima. Some of his countrymen branded him a traitor because he wrote and illustrated many pro-American publications for the War Information and Strategic Services offices during World War II. But Yashima said he worked for the United States to stop the loss of Japanese lives as well as Americans, and because he wanted to bring a new democratic age to Japan.

. . . He continued his endeavors as an artist and in 1953 moved to Los Angeles to establish the Yashima Art Institute. He taught painting and worked in his own studio, earning the 13th Grand Prix International Painting Award of Deauville, France, and other awards.

Despite a stroke in 1977, Yashima continued to teach, write and paint. . . He is survived by his son, Mako Iwamatsu, his daughter, Momo Brannen, and four grandchildren.

Obituaries: Los Angeles Times, July 06, 1994, by Myrna Oliver



TARO YASHIMA   (Japanese/American, 1908-1994)
The New Sun,   (1943)   book jacket
copyright © 2013 collection of Scattergood-Moore


First published in 1943 by one of the oldest U.S. publishers, Henry Holt and Company, and in spite of excellent reviews plus a multi-year marketing campaign by both publisher and an early publicist who worked to get the book out even without pay, "The New Sun" originally proved to be a publishing failure.

“Nobody will buy a book from a Jap,” a Holt salesman rightfully concluded during those difficult years of World War II (when 120,00 Americans of Japanese descent were locked away in U.S. prison camps just for looking like the enemy) and immediately following. The book languished for decades. . .

Taro and Mitsu Yashima are the pseudonyms for Jun and Tomoe Iwamatsu, an activist artist couple who arrived as political refugees in 1939. They took new names to protect the safety of the young son they were forced to leave behind in Japan, the child who survived imprisonment in his mother’s womb. Fluent in both English and Japanese, Taro served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. But in spite of his valiant service, it took a much-petitioned act of Congress to finally allow the couple to bring their son to the U.S. after WWII. That son, Makoto Iwamatsu, is better known today as the late mega-award-winning actor, Mako!



. . . "The New Sun" is an account of his life in prewar Japan. In its depiction of ordinary Japanese, "The New Sun" is both an indictment of Japanese militarism and a plea for American understanding of "the enemy." Told mainly through Yashima's powerful artwork, it is a personal and political text of a rural doctor's son who becomes an anti-imperialist artist-activist. Yashima recounts how his wife and their peers were imprisoned and brutalized by the Tokkoka, Japan's secret police, often for months without being formally charged or knowing when they would be released. Despite the arbitrary deprivations and cruelties of life in prison and in Imperial Japan, Yashima retains faith in the regenerative possibilities of art and in a future without tyranny. This work of quiet conscience and protest is now as relevant as when it first appeared more than sixty years ago.


left: The New Sun,   (1943)   title page
right: The New Sun,   (1943)   inscription & autographed


page ___
Horrible sacrifice awaited these people. . . . But finally, through hummer, sickness, and death, they would learn to build a people's Japan, a people's Orient!

page 250
Once I got a quarter-inch square of cheese. I had never had any other experience like it: my whole body trembled while the cheese went humming down to my stomach.



Horizon Is Calling,   (1947)   cover jacket
copyright © 2013 collection of Scattergood-Moore


The remarkable story begun in "The New Sun" continues in this second volume of Taro Yashima’s graphic memoir, a strikingly simple combination of pictures and brief text that capture a man's journey away from his homeland. Long out of print since its 1947 first printing, Horizon begins in "[t]he winter of 1935-1936 . . . the first winter my wife [fellow artist and activist Mitsu Yashima] and I faced after we were out of prison."

Having survived inhumane conditions during unjustified imprisonment by the Japanese secret police -including pregnancy and the miraculous healthy birth of their son Mako - the couple move into the home of Mitsu’s parents while they slowly regain their health. In spite of a growing military presence, Yashima is both humbled and inspired by the struggles of his friends and colleagues as they face their challenging lives with integrity and tenacity.

Young Mako (who would become the Oscar-nominated actor of film, television, and stage) is growing into a strong, sensitive, artistic little boy: "Mako soon began to express in drawings what was reflected into his eyes," proud Papa observes. Yashima's recreations of his son's developing art is especially touching and effective.

Meanwhile, the war machine moves into high gear, and the secret police take every opportunity to coerce, cheat, and punish ordinary citizens: "These people were the inhuman creatures who did not care if the children of others were barbecued for the realization of their own success." War kills more and more innocent victims, and yet the Japanese government insists greater sacrifices will ensure complete victory over the "the white race [which] is oppressing and exploiting the yellow race."

encyclopedia densho








ALLAN ROHAN CRITE   (American, 1910 - 2007)


ALLAN ROHAN CRITE  (American, 1910-2007)

The Preacher, (nd), offset print

"Born in 1910 in Plainfield, New Jersey, of African, Indian, and European ancestry, Crite has spent most of his life in Boston. During the course of his long life, Crite enjoyed an extensive career as a painter, draftsman, printmaker, author, librarian, and publisher. At an early age his mother encouraged him to draw and paint, and he took art classes at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Massachusetts School of Art, and Boston University. Later he focused on history and the natural sciences, earning a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University and an honorary doctorate from Suffolk University in Boston. During the 1930s, Crite worked under the auspices of the Works Progress Administration, and in the early 1940s began a thirty-year career as a technical illustrator for the Department of the Navy. A visual chronicler of life in Boston, he was active in the Episcopal Church and a prolific creator of liturgical art.

American Art @ The Phillips Collection




Jumping in Front of My Window   (1947) oil painting
School's Out   (1936), oil painting
Sunlight and Shadow   (1941)







HYMAN BLOOM   (Lithuania / American, 1913 - 2009)


HYMAN BLOOM   (Lithuania / American, 1913 - 2009)

left: Old Woman,   casein on paper, 1956
right: The Beggar,   casein on paper, 1956
Smithsonian American Art Museum

HYMAN BLOOM   (Lithuania / American, 1913 - 2009)

The Old Woman,   casein on paper, nd

Harvard Art Museums: Hyman Bloom drawings








KÁROLY ANDRUSKÓ     (Serbia, 1915 - 2008)


KÁROLY ANDRUSKÓ   (Serbia, 1915 - 2008)

Three Starved Men, Genocide, Croatia,   (1970s)
woodcut; 29.5 x 18 cm.

Image above: Woodcut from the cycle dedicated to the games poem "Jama" (:The Pit") by Ivan Goran Kovacic (1913-1943), describing the Croatian Ustasha genocide and crimes against Serbs during World War II; this print is from the estate of Alexander Klas (1928-2002) - a well known cartoonist of publishing house “Politika” in Belgrade, Serbia.


Károly Andruskó was born in Senta, Serbia. Andruskó began as a typographer, but moved to the woodcut and the lino-cut, both in color and black-and-white. He is well known of his limited editions, miniature books and ex libris works.












ELIZABETH CATLETT MORA   (American 1915 - Mexican 2012)


Elizabeth Catlett, Sharecropper, color woodcut, 1952-70
ELIZABETH CATLETT   (America, 1915 - Mexico, 2012)

Sharecropper,   (1952)
colored woodcut
printed in 1970

Elizabeth Catlett Mora was an American-born Mexican sculptor and printmaker; best known for the black, expressionistic sculptures and politically charged prints produced during the 1960s and 1970s.

In 1940 Catlett became the first student to receive an M.F.A. in sculpture at the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History. While there, she was influenced by American landscape painter Grant Wood, who urged students to work with the subjects they knew best. For Catlett, this meant black people, and especially black women, and it was at this point that her work began to focus on African Americans. Her piece Mother and Child, done in limestone in 1939 for her thesis, won first prize in sculpture at the American Negro Exposition in Chicago in 1940. . .




The Sculpture of Elizabeth Catlett








MAURICIO LASANSKY   (Argentina 1913 - America 2009)


MAURICIO LASANSKY   (Argentina 1913 - America 2009)

Espana,   (1956)   31.87 x 20.62 inches, edition of 50
Engraving, etching, aquatint, soft ground, scraping and burnishing.
One copper plate printed twice, first in yellow ochre, second in black.

"In the 1950s, a fourth Guggenheim Fellowship enabled Lasansky to study in Spain, a country with which he felt a great cultural kinship. In Spain he examined the painted caves of Altamira, as well as the works of Velazquez, a painter he greatly admires. Just as the atrocities committed in Germany shaped his work in the 1940s, the destructive power of the Spanish Civil War shaped his work in the 1950s. Although the Spanish Civil War ended in 1939, the Spain Lasansky visited in the 1950s still lay in rubble, both materially and physically. Lasansky was so intellectually and emotionally torn by the Spanish conflict that he lay awake at night unable to sleep. The haunting print Espana, an intaglio of 1956, was his catharsis.

Espana is an oculus through which to view Lasansky's entire body of work. The phantasmic, yet monumental, figure in Espana, and the mother standing in grief over her dead child behind the mounted figure, contribute to Lasansky's dark statement against all wars, not just the Spanish Civil War. In Espana the spectral figure bears witness to the tragedy of life but is not defeated by it. Espana is one print in which Lasansky merged the monumental with the personal. Lasansky's spectral equestrian figure summons the ghostlike figure of El Cid, Spain's examplar of love of country. On a more universal level, the figure is death, the rider of the pale horse who gallops through the Apocalypse."

The Artist's Hand: The Prints of Mauricio Lasansky


MAURICIO LASANSKY   (Argentina 1913 - America 2009)

from The Nazi Drawing,

"Dignity is not a symbol bestowed on man, nor does the word itself possess force. Man's dignity is a force and the only modus vivendi by which man and his history survive. When mid-twentieth century Germany did not let man live and die with this right, man became an animal. No matter how technologically advanced or sophisticated, when man negates this divine right, he not only becomes self-destructive, but castrates his history and poisons our future. This is what 'The Nazi Drawings' are about."

Mauricio Lasansky, 1966


Mauricio Lasansky website
  • The Artist' Hand: the Prints of Mauricio Lasansky
  • Catalogue of Prints
  • The Nazi Drawings








JACOB LAWRENCE   (American, 1917 - 2000)


JACOB LAWRENCE   (American, 1917 - 2000)

Hiroshima, No. 3, Man With Birds,   (1983)   gouache


"The work of Jacob Lawrence is social, in content and in consciousness. Lawrence's paintings consistently portray the lives and struggles of the people he knows best, black Americans. In a career spanning five decades, the coherence of conceptualization in his art has been unbroken. Lawrence has manifested a persistent concern with everyday reality and the dignity of the poor, and all human effort toward freedom and justice, and he deals with these themes while extolling the value and diversity of human experience. Because of the universality of his themes as well as his accessible, colorful style, Lawrence's work has always interested a wide audience. In Jacob Lawrence, American Painter, Ellen Harkins Wheat writes, "In Wounded Man, we see a direct confrontation of injustices committed against American blacks. Painted during a period of intense civil rights activism, this piece is part of a larger body of works that graphically depict the violence blacks were subjected to. . . "

The Legacy Project










CHARLES WHITE   (USA, 1918-1979)


CHARLES WHITE   (USA, 1918-1979)

Harvest Talk   (1953), pencil and graphite
with stamping and erasing on ivory wood-pulp laminate body
source: Two in a Space

"Charles Wilbert White was an American artist born in Chicago. He was known for his WPA era murals. White was briefly married to famed sculptor and printmaker Elizabeth Catlett. He taught at the Otis Art Institute from 1965 to his death in 1979." - Wikipedia


"One of the greatest American artists of the twentieth century, Charles White - with amazing spirit, vision, and brilliance - devoted both his life and work to portraying the African American community. With pencil and brush, in black and white or in color, he captured not only the poverty, strife, and despair of the black people but their strength of community, the joy of enlightenment, and the tenderness of kinship as well, rejecting the usual stereotypes of black people as inferior. His canvases, woodcuts, monumental drawings, and murals convey his strong social consciousness and impart the inherent dignity of his subjects. . . his place in the annals of art history has never been fully realized. . .”

Andrea Barnwell


"I am interested in the social, even the propaganda, angle in painting; but I feel that the job of everyone in a creative field is to picture the whole scene. . . I am interested in creating a style that is much more powerful, that will take in the technical end and at the same time will say what I have to say. Paint is the only weapon I have with which to fight what I resent. If I could write, I would write about it. If I could talk, I would talk about it. Since I paint, I must paint about it.

I no longer have my hopes and aspirations tied up with becoming a ’success’ in the market sense. I have had a measure of success in exhibits, some prizes and awards, although not as much as I might have gotten had there not been certain ‘difficulties’ presented by my speaking as part of the Negro people and the working class. Getting a marketplace success or recognition by art connoisseurs is no longer my major concern as an artist. My major concern is to get my work before common, ordinary people; for me to be accepted as a spokesman for my people; for my work to portray them better, and to be rich and meaningful to them. A work of art was meant to belong to people, not to be a single person’s private possession. Art should take its place as one of the necessities of life, like food, clothing and shelter.”

Charles White (in His Own Words)

Voices Education Project
   • Murder of African American Veterans
US Slave: American Artist Charles White







LEONARD BASKIN   (American, 1922 - 2000)


LEONARD BASKIN   (American, 1922 - 2000)

Left: Hydrogen Man,   (1954)   Woodcut,   62.25" x 24.5"
Right: Man of Peace (1952)   Woodcut,   60" x 31"
Monumental Woodcuts

Man of Peace (1952) seems almost like an X-Ray of a partially clothed man, which is fitting considering the work was created at the dawn of the atomic age. Baskin’s subject is caught in barbed wire, and appears indistinguishable from it. . . The subject holds a dove of peace that struggles to fly free. The print alluded to the genocide committed against the Jewish people by the Nazis, but seeing as how American society was mesmerized by a hysterical form of anti-communism at the time of the print’s creation, it’s easy to see how the art, and the man who created it, would come under suspicion. It’s instructive to remember that a year prior to Baskin creating Man of Peace, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted in a U.S. court of spying for the Soviet Union, a conviction that fueled the anti-communist witch hunts lead by Senator Joe McCarthy. A year after Baskin pulled his print - the Rosenbergs were put to death in the electric chair.

The U.S. exploded the first hydrogen bomb on March 1st, 1954. Baskin would respond by creating a life-sized woodblock print he titled, Hydrogen Man. The subject of the artist's apocalyptic vision, a flayed and mutilated man, was a not so subtle reminder of the costs of atomic war and a warning that humanity was courting obliteration. Baskin said of his monumental prints, “Man has not molded a life of abundance and peace and he has charred the earth and befouled the heavens. In this garden I dwell, and in limning the horror, the degradation and the filth, I hold the cracked mirror up to man - and yet, and yet I hold man as collectively redemptible. . . he has endured.”

Mark Vallen, Baskin: Graphic Force, Humanist Vision

R. Michelson Galleries
   Monumental Woodcuts
   Gehenna Press
      Castle Street Dogs, 1952
Mark Vallen's Art For A Change

Man of Peace, 60"x31" woodcut, 1952
Hydrogen Man, 62.25"x24.5" woodcut, 1954
Sorrowing & Terrifed Man, 36"x36" woodcut, 1955











Black Arts Movement, Abstraction, and Beyond

Art's capacity to endow the artist, viewer, and others with self-affirmation and a sense of cultural authority became the benchmark for the "Black Arts Movement" of the late 1960s and early 1970s. During this period African American writers, performing artists, and visual artists made black culture and the political struggles of black peoples worldwide their rai·sons d'etre. Slogans like "Black Is Beautiful" and "Black Power," as well as jazz and soul music, became the soundtrack for works by painter Murry DePillars, mixed-media artist Ben Jones, and muralist Dana Chandler. Jeff Donaldson, a cofounder of the Chicago-based black artist collective AFRI-COBRA, not only added to this milieu with his own African textile-inspired, mixed-media works, but he wrote influential art manifestos and helped organize international expositions of black artists in Africa and North America.

Many artists whose careers extended back to the 1930s and 1940s resurfaced with a renewed sense of racial solidarity and political insurgency during the Black Arts Movement. Painters Lois Mailou Jones and John Biggers and sculptor and printmaker Elizabeth Catlett all aligned themselves with the younger generation of black artists, creating works that underscored their shared interest in African design sensibilities, the black figure, and the continuing struggle for civil rights

African American Art




Romare Bearden (b. 1911)
   Romare Bearden Foundation
• John Biggers
• Dana C. Chandler
Elizabeth Catlett
Willis "Bing" Davis (b. 1937)
• Beauford Delaney
• Murry DePillars
• Jeff Donaldson
Habesha Art Studio (Ethiopia)
• William H. Johnson
• Ben Jones
• Lois Mailou Jones
Hank Kearsley
Jacob Lawrence
   Going to Church
Norman Lewis
Whitfield Lovell (b. 1959 New York)
Stary Mwaba (b. 1976, Zambia)
• Gordan Parks
Howardena Pindell
• Kara Walker
• Carrie Mae Weems
• Charles White
• Fred Wilson
Richard Yarde


RICHARD YARDE   (1939 - 2011)
Pulse, Ringshout Series, 2002, watercolor and collage

"Richard Yarde attended art classes as a child in Boston, where his parents settled after emigrating from Barbados. He began working in watercolor, and by his teens had been accepted into Boston University. His early career dealt primarily with themes from African American history. Yarde made historical portraits of African American heroes and large vibrant paintings depicting the jazz world of the Harlem Renaissance. In the early 1990s, Yarde suffered a series of small strokes brought on by his blood pressure medicine. His struggle with illness shifted the focus of his work to issues of morality, vulnerability, and healing."



Oscar Micheaux (1884-1951)
• Spencer Williams
• Melvin Van Peebles
• Spike Lee

Hattie McDaniel (1982=1952)
• Ethel Waters (1896-1977)
Paul Leroy Robeson (1898-1976)
• Josephine Baker (1906- 1975)
Thelma "Butterfly" McQueen (1911-1995)
Willie Best aka Sleep 'n Eat (1916-1962)
• Lena Horne (1917-2010)
• Dorothy Dandridge (1922-1965)
• Sidney Poitier
• Richard Pryor
• Samuel L. Jackson
• Denzel Washington









Anti-Gay Hate in Uganda: CALL ME KUCHU
I've had hate mail and lost friends - but I will
   not stop writing about gay rights in Uganda


AFRIBOY   (Kenya, East Africa)

Nude African Boys Erotic Art Gallery - Notebooks
Artists' Sketchbooks Online
Gay Uganda and Africa


Black Power in Art   (12-15-1967)
   Edmonia Lewis
   Henry O. Tanner
   The Harlem Renaissance I
   The WPA Years
   The Black Art Movement
   The Civil Rights Movement
Ben's Art History  |  (art links)
Archive African American Art
Black Art in America
  • photographs
MET: African-American Artists: 1929-1945







JOHN WILSON   (American, b. 1922)


JOHN WILSON   (American, b. 1922)

Martin Luther King, Jr.,   (2002)
Etching and aquatint with chine collé, 36 x 30 inches, Edition of 50
Progressive proof for "Head Study" (2002)
Soft ground etching and foul biting
Davis Museum at Wellesley College

"John Wilson (b. 1922, Roxbury, Massachusetts) became involved in the civil rights movement in Boston in the 1960s and his studio became a meeting place for artists and political activists. Since the early 1980s, the subject of Martin Luther King, Jr. has dominated the artist's oeuvre, which spans the mediums of drawing, print, and sculpture. This image, in etching and aquatint, was based on studies for Dr. King’s memorial statue, commissioned by the U.S. Capitol Building in 1985. The aesthetic with which Wilson portrays King here can be traced back to his work in the 1960s. In his representations of King, Wilson borrows the character of anonymity from his earlier work, which, paired with the energy and strength associated with King’s visage, create a sense of monumental universality."

Kelley Tialiou, Curatorial Assistant
Davis Museum at Wellesley College


JOHN WILSON   (American, b. 1922)

The Trial,   (1951)
Lithograph, 13 1/2 x 9 7/8 inches
Martha Richardson Fine Art, Boston

"John Wilson's artistic development and his achievements are profoundly intertwined with his compassion for the oppressed and his commitment to social progress. Observing and experiencing injustice himself, John Wilson devoted his considerable talents to address the painful realities of racial prejudice.

A skilled painter, sculptor and printmaker, John Wilson was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1922. After his work was brought to the attention of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Wilson received a full scholarship. . . .Wilson's 1943 lithograph Grief, attests to the artist's knowledge of the socially conscious Mexican artist José Clemente Orozco. Orozco's deep connection to the plight of the underclass was an important revelation for the young Wilson. . ."

John Wilson: Prints and Drawings
at Martha Richardson Fine Arts

Center Street Studio
Martha Richardson Fine Art
Art Fox Daily
John Wilson: Prints and Drawings
National Center of Afro-American Artists
  • Exhibitions
  • Elma Ina Lewis 1921-2004
Exploring the NCAAA

Roz #15, 1972, black pastel on paper.
Julie, 1952m conté crayon on paper
Street nd
Native son, 1945
study for Eternal Presence, bronze
Eternal Presence (1987) bronze
Eternal Presence (1987) bronze
The Trial, 1951, lithograph
Monumental Head, 2003, etching and aquatint







LEON GOLUB   (American, 1922 - 2004)


LEON GOLUB   (American, 1922 - 2004)

Riot I,   lithograph, 1985

LEON GOLUB   (American, 1922 - 2004)

Whereabout Unknown,   2002


"Golub's work is about power and the misuse of power through violence,
often through state-organized oppression and brutality." art & citizenship


newest photos of glob and leon
Art & Citizenship Education








NANCY SPERO   (American, 1926 - 2009)


Spero deals with social and political issues connected with women through her work, using imagery associated with women from different cultures.


"Nancy Spero is regarded as a pioneering feminist artist whose work confronts social and political injustice with artistic ingenuity. Unapologetically feminist, anarchic in spirit, and tenaciously political, Spero has received considerable international acclaim with more than a dozen solo museum shows around the world. While her work is now widely recognized, she worked in relative obscurity for almost twenty-five years, resisting the predominating inequality in the art world and beyond. . ."


NANCY SPERO   (1926 - 2009)

Israeli Women Soldiers   photographic sreenprint


NANCY SPERO   (1926 - 2009)

Torture of Women   (1976)
14 panels juxtaposing hand-printed images & typewritten words

NANCY SPERO   (1926 - 2009)

Panel III of Torture of Women   (1976)

Nancy Spero's Torture of Women is an epic work. Two years in the making, it’s composed of fourteen panels and totals 125 feet. Juxtaposing image and text, Spero collaged imagery drawn from ancient mythology with hand-printed and typewritten words. She collected first person testimony culled from Amnesty International reports, news items on women missing or dead, definitions of torture from the twentieth and thirteenth centuries, as well as the retelling of violent Sumerian and Babylonian creation myths, such as Tiamat being disemboweled by Marduk to create the heavens. Completed in 1976, and published this spring by Siglio Press, Torture of Women bears witness to what is often officially denied or left unspoken. It reveals the presence of the silent consensus, which allows the violence to be state-sanctioned and eternally mythologized.

Torture of Women by Nancy Spero - Guernica


"In Portraits, Golub and Spero talk about how the fragility of her work felt aggressive when it first appeared, and they cite Richard Serra's Abu Ghraib (2004) as an example of what she subverted. “My work rebels about against very large paintings,” Spero says, “because I’m trying to break down the authority they imply.” After Abu Ghraib, Serra (Art:21 Season 1), whose steel monstrosities blatantly pitted power against vulnerability, felt compelled to compensate for his own formalism. He made dark renderings of hooded Abu Ghraib prisoners — a project about as trite as trick-or-treating as a ghost. It was disturbing, too, because it was Serra who thought representation was the way to react to the flagrantly graphic images coming out of Iraq."

Nancy Spero's Torture of Womwn - Art21 Blog


Bomblog: Interview with Natalie Kraft
Art for the blog of it - Spero
Nancy Spero Art21 - PBS
Nancy Spero, Artist of Feminism, Is Dead at 83








ARNOLD TRACHTMAN   (American, b. 1930)



The Austrian Rider   (1990)   acrylic
Artist Exhibit: Arnold Trachtman
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies

University of Minnesota
image copyright © 2013 Arnold Trachtman

"I was born in the United States, three years before the Nazis came to power in Germany. I was lucky. I grew up in the 'Arsenal of Democracy.' And yet it was not always safe. Anti-Semitism thrived here. At any time you could be attacked, verbally, physically or both, by kids your own age or older, and sometimes by adults. The end of the war came with newsreels of the camps and the infinite mounds of the dead being bulldozed into great pits. The survivors looked just barely alive. Their pain was palpable. When I found my direction as an artist, I made work about issues of the day. While pursuing these themes, I found myself continuously drawn to the history of Nazism. Yet it did not appear in my work. I wasn’t ready. In late 1985, I was. What I wished to do was demystify the demonology of Nazism. I wanted to show the men behind this great engine of genocide: the major industrialists and corporations of Germany, such as Thyssen, Krupp, Daimler, Benz, Siemens, to name a few. Ten years after the war, all of them were back in business. Understanding the epoch of Nazism, economically, politically, and socially, is part of the unfinished business of our era. As this century draws to a close, aspects of Nazism are manifesting themselves in various parts of the world. We must penetrate the darkness of our past in order to have a future."

Artist's statement.



The Deciders   (2007)   acrylic on paper
Arnold Trachtman: Of Our Time
Howard Yezerski Gallery
March 9 - April 3, 2007
image copyright © 2013 Arnold Trachtman


Galatea Fine Art Harrison Ave., Boston MA
Arnold Trachtman & Ruth Langue @ Galatea
In the Studio: Revisiting the Weimar Republic
Arnold Trachtman at 80 by Charles Giuliano
Holocaust & Genocide Studies - exhibition
In Our Time, Howard Yezerski Gallery

Portrait of George Grosz
Portrait of Franz Kafka
Peace in Our Time
Tic Tac Toe
Scenes from the Third Reich, (1992)







RON B. KITAJ   (American, 1932 - 2007)


"Kitaj's monsters are not truly monstrous but they are, rather, cartoon cut-outs standing in for the idea of monstrousness - it is only necessary to look at the work of Goya, another of Kitaj's supposed heroes, to see the difference between truly horrific political painting and Kitaj's version of it. . .
An inveterate name-dropper . . . The Wandering Jew, the TS Eliot of painting?

Kitaj turns out, instead, to be the Wizard of Oz: a small man with a megaphone held to his lips

Andrew Graham-Dixon, Independent


An outstanding artist who has been unfairly rubbished.:

". . . What Kitaj achieves at his best is absolutely virginal, personal and peculiar to him. There is nothing anywhere quite like the finest of the Kitaj paintings.

May I add that for years now Kitaj has had a most bracing effect, imaginatively, on students and young artists all over England and in the US; that he is greatly loved and admired here, with all the usual grumbles and reservations, by every artist I've ever known; and that Kitaj first stood up for serious drawing and the retention of the life class not long after the 1968 students' revolt brought artistic discipline into bitter disfavour. . .

Bryan Robertson, Independent


"R. B. Kitaj was born Ronald Brooks, in Cleveland Ohio, on October 29, 1932 to Jeanne Brooks and Sigmund Benway. His parents divorced when he was two years old. Jeanne Brooks supported herself and young Kitaj by working as a secretary at a steel mill. Kitaj's first art training came in the form of children's art school classes at the Cleveland Museum where he spent his Saturdays, while his mother worked. In 1941, Jeanne married Viennese refugee and research chemist, Walter Kitaj. Ronald adopted his stepfather's surname.


". . . Kitaj studied at the Cooper Union Institute in New York in 1950-1 and 1952. As a merchant seaman in the early 1950s he visited Havana, Mexico and South America. He was a student at the Academy of Fine Art, Vienna in 1951. He attended the Ruskin School, Oxford in 1958-9, and the Royal College of Art from 1959 to 1961. It was at the Royal College that he met David Hockney, who became a close friend.

His first one-man exhibition was held at Marlborough Fine Art, London in 1963. He taught at the University of California Berkeley in 1967-8 and the University of California Los Angeles in 1970-1. In 1972 he returned to London. . .

In 1976 Kitaj selected for the Arts Council of Great Britain a group of British works, connected by a common theme, which formed the core of an exhibition called The Human Clay. The show included works by Bacon, Freud, Auerbach, Kossoff, Moore, Hodgkin, Hockney, Kitaj himself, and others. Kitaj's essay for the catalogue, in which he proposed the idea of a School of London, became one of the key art historical texts of the period. In 1989 he published the First Diasporist Manifesto (Chapter 2), the longest and most impassioned of his many texts discussing the Jewish dimension in his art and thought. . ."


Kitaj married his first wife, Elsi Roessler, in 1953. They had a son (Lem Dobbs) and adopted a daughter (Dominie). Elsi committed suicide in 1969. In 1983 Kitaj married Sandra Fisher, they had a son (Max). Sandra died of a brain aneurysm in 1994.

Study for Kitaj in Jerusalem, 1981
by Sandra Fisher
charcoal on paper, 22 3/8" x 30 1/2"

Sandra Fisher art the N.Y. Studio School

Kitaj died eight days before his 75th birthday, in Los Angeles, California on October 21, 2007. The Los Angeles County coroner's office determined that Kitaj's death was a suicide by suffocation - Kitaj had placed a plastic bag over his head - a note and an empty medicine bottle were nearby when one of Kitaj's sons discovered the 74-year-old painter dead at his home.

"Kitaj stood for a sense of history, a belief in drawing and an intelligent modernism."

Jonathan Jones, The Guardian, UK


“I always keep a picture, tacked to my wall, of the gorgeous little painting of the The Almond Tree which Bonnard was working at on his last day, to remind me of another fate, a more sublime and fixed one than that of Jews or that of my own particular Diasporism, where painting marks on canvas may spell peripatetic danger instead of peace in the sun.

In fact, I return this day to a tiny picture of a false messiah I thought I’d finished, taking up Bonnard’s little tree to infuse my messiah with hopeful white paint, befitting the End of Days, prolonging its poor prospects and smothering the negative constraints of Diaspora for a moment; these negative aspects by the way, which in traditional interpretations are due to be resolved in the messianic end of time. I just came across a Biblical Allusion to the flowering Almond interpreted as the white head of an old man . . . so my poor Messiah can be aged and maybe even something more false.”

"First Diasporist Manifesto," by RB Kitaj: Thames And Hudson 1989


RON B. KITAJ   (1932-2007)

A Life (B),   (1975)
3 color lithograph on mauve Wookey Hole handmade waterleaf paper

edition of 50, signed and numbered by the artist
size: h: 29 x w: 21 in / h: 73.7 x w: 53.3 cm
poster in the collection of Scattergood-Moore


"For The Neo-Cubist Kitaj reworked a . . . portrait of one of his most intimate artist friends, David Hockney, which he had communced in 1976. The portrait as it stood was rare among his paintings in being charged with the directness of his drawings from life. Given his insistence at the time on the importance of life drawing of the human figure, and the closeness that he felt in this regard with his old friend Hockney, it is particularly striking that he decided to alter the image in this way rather than simply redrawing the fiure as the basis for a new work. He agrees that he deemed it necessary to the meaning of the painting to bring together the two spheres to which he and Hockney alike were most devoted: that of diret observation and that of the imagination. Kitaj explains that there were other reasons, too, for the particular nature of the alterations: 'I wished to indicate his neo-cubism by a kind of disjunction arranged in the classic cubist oval device. There are other aspects: the recent death of Isherwood (can you see a bent superimposed head bowed in death?) and a general gragic sense (AIDS) as countertheme in that exotic California, which was weighing on him - disjunction again.'" - R.B. KITAJ by Marco Livingstone (originally published by Phaidon Press, 1985) revised and expanded edition, Thames and Hudson, New York, 1992


"DAVID," (unfinished), 1976-77
oil & charcoal on canvas, 72" x 60"
"THE NEO-CUBIST," 1976-87
oil on canvas, 70" x 52"
The Saatchi Collection, London

". . . I began the portrait of Hockney in the 'seventies. I didn't care much for it, and it lay in storage for many years. In the later 'eighties, David described to me the death of his friend Isherwood in California. I took up the old portrait again and drew a kind of alter-figure across the original full-frontal one, with Chris Isherwood in mind. Like Hockney, and unlike me, he had been a very optimistic and sublime personality, so I made of them a sort of Cubist doppelganger, representing both life and death in the particular, widely perspectival California setting they made their own in exile and, I hope, in some harmony with David's recent neo-Cubist theory for pictures." - from R.B. Kitaj's statement in: Exhibition Road, 1988



RON B. KITAJ   (1932 - 2007)

The Jew, Etc,   (1979)
Oil and charcoal on canvas

"The Jew, Etc. is the first picture that is about Kitaj's fictive figure Joe Singer. He is Kitaj's metaphor for the survivors of the Shoah. The historical event is turned into a current issue. The traumatic experiences are transferred into the present. The picture of the Jew in a train compartment visualizes the physical and mental restriction of the Diaspora. The crampedness of the compartment is passed on to the introverted person in the picture. The hearing aid stresses the isolation. Being on the move, in this case traveling on a train, is in Kitaj's sign system a symbol for the state of restlessness Jews were in. The picture of the wandering Jew who is driven from one place to another. The only safe place to escape to is the world of thoughts."

Credits: © 2003, R.B. Kitaj, Courtesy, Marlborough Gallery, New York.

The Legacy Project











SIGMUND ABELES   (American, b. 1934)


SIGMUND ABELES   (American, b. 1934)
Running Mother with Falling Baby, 1966
"Gift of American Series, Napalm #2"
(25 Prints for 'Artists Against Racism and the War')
soft ground and color etching
2013 © collection of Scattergood-Moore

SIGMUND ABELES   (American, b. 1934)
, 1966
soft ground and color etching

SIGMUND ABELES   (American, b. 1934)
The Fifteen Days of May   (untitled),  1968
soft ground and etching
25 Prints for Artists Against Racism and the War
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum
Gift of Impressions Workshop, Boston

The Old Print Shop, NYC

Woman in Napalm soft ground color etching (1966)
untitled from 'The Fifteen Days of May' portfolio







MICHAEL MAZUR   (American, 1935 - 2009)


MICHAEL MAZUR   (American, 1935 - 2009)
Closed Ward #3 (1961-62)
etching, aquatint & drypoint

MICHAEL MAZUR   (American, 1935 - 2009)
Closed Ward: Figure Fixed on Figure Falling   (1961-62)
etching, aquatint, drypoint

MICHAEL MAZUR   (American, 1935-2009)
Closed Ward #12 untitled   (1961-62)
etching, aquatint & drypoint, diptych printed on one sheet

MICHAEL MAZUR  (American, 1935 - 2009)
Locked Ward No. 11, 'Modules of Madness II',   lithograph (1963-65)

MICHAEL MAZUR   (American, 1935 - 2009)
Locked Ward: The Occupant,   lithograph (1963-65)


Born and raised in New York City, Michael Mazur studied art at Amherst and Yale before settling in Boston where he has lived for many years. His early prints, such as the Closed Ward and Locked Ward series, indicate his social commitment, when the artist was volunteering as art therapist at a mental institution. Mazur has also always been an acute reader of literature. This aspect of his work is evinced in several book projects, including his early woodcut thesis project, An Image of Salomé, and his recent monotype illustrations to poet laureate Robert Pinsky's translation of Dante's Inferno. In the 1980s, Mazur began a study of the natural world near Cape Cod where his family has a summer home. Not since Vincent Van Gogh has the sunflower been as glorious and sensitive as in Mazur's Wakeby images. More recently, Mazur's treatment of the natural world displays a peace and serenity usually ascribed to the work of Chinese or Japanese landscape artists.

Michael Mazur: Print Retrospective
Cantor Art Center, Stanford University

image above: Self Portrait, state II, etching (1986)

Not just an artist: Michael Mazur
The Phoenix: Michael Mazur, 1935-2009
Barbara Krakow Gallery
   • Michael Mazur: Black Painting










NAJI AL-ALI   (Palestinian, 1936 - 1987)


NAJI AL-ALI   (Palestine, 1936 - 1987)



"Naji Al-Ali was born in 1936 in the Palestinian village of Ash Shajara. In 1948, Ash Shajara was one of the 480 villages destroyed in what is known as the “Nakba,” or catastrophe. The Nakba is the devastation of Palestine in the creation of the Israeli state: The Palestinians lost more than half of their land, massacres took place and 750,000 refugees were created. Naji Al-Ali was 10 years old when he and his family were expelled from Palestine to Ein Al-Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon.

Naji Al-Ali grew up to become perhaps the most popular cartoonist in the Arab world. With brutal honesty, Naji Al-Ali analyzed the relationships between the governments of the United States, Israel and the Arab regimes and the ramifications for the Palestinians. Time Magazine described him saying, "This man draws with human bones." The Asahi Newspaper, in Japan, once wrote, "Naji Al-Ali draws using phosphoric acid."

Naji Al-Ali was well loved for his work but was also well hated, as illustrated by the many death threats he and his family received. On July 22, 1987, in London, Naji Al-Ali was assassinated as he walked towards the offices of Al-Qabas newspaper. He died in the hospital on August 29th. His murderer has never been apprehended."

About Naji Al-Ali

"At first he was a Palestinian child, but his consciousness develop- ed to have a national then a global and human horizon. He is a simple yet tough child, and this is why people adopted him and felt that he represents their consciousness."

Naji Al-Ali


LINKS: (website)








SCATTERGOOD-MOORE   (American, b. 1940)


Scattergood-Moore has an extensive record of solo and group exhibitions - participating in over eighty-five invitational and juried shows. Since the mid-1980s he has concentrated on large-scale charcoal drawings, portraits, life drawing and conceptual projects. He has received recognition and commendation from Boston art critics, received three fellowships from the Massachusetts Council for the Arts, and was nominated for the prestigious national 'Awards in the Visual Arts Program.'

In additional to creating his own art work, Scattergood-Moore has consistently worked for social and human rights - he is (or has been) a member of Artists' Equity, Human Rights Campaign, Amnestry International, and Take Root to name a few. He has also worked for artists' rights and housing issues and was an early member of the Boston Visual Artists Union and a founding member of the Newton Artists Housing Partnership which purchased the Claflin School from the City of Newton and developed it into permanent live/work space for visual artists called Claflin School Studios. He has served on the Newton Arts Center Board of Directors and was appointed visual arts representative to the City of Newton Cultural Council, which he chaired from 2002-2004.

Scattergood-Moore biography


SCATTERGOOD-MOORE (American, b. 1940)
Homeless New Bedford Man, 1961, pen drawing
copyright © 2013 collection of the artist


SCATTERGOOD-MOORE (American, b. 1940)
after Wilfred Owen "Disabeled, ink drawing


SCATTERGOOD-MOORE   (American, b. 1940)

Portrait of J.J. in Trenchcoat
charcoal on paper



SCATTERGOOD-MOORE   (American, b. 1940)

LEFT:   frontal portrait   charcoal drawing
RIGHT:   profile portrait   charcoal drawing
Portrait of the Other exhibition
John Jagel and Scattergood-Moore
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA


SCATTERGOOD-MOORE   (American, b. 1940)

Study for 'Ident . . . Dr. Webern' (a silkscreen of Anton von Webern)
14.5" x 14", collage (photographs & color-aid paper)
Anton von Webern: A soldier in Burg-MItteril


SCATTERGOOD-MOORE (American, b. 1940)
Paranoia of the 1960s, 1982, photographic silkscreen


SCATTERGOOD-MOORE   (American, b. 1940)

Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone, photographic silkscreen


SCATTERGOOD-MOORE   (American, b. 1940)

The Imperial President and his Anti-Democratic Cabinet, digital montage
Based on Napoleon I on his Imperial Throne, 1806
aka His Majesty the Emperor on his Throne
by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres


SCATTERGOOD-MOORE   (American, b. 1940)

The Disasters of War: Redux, (2005) digital montage


drawing banner


My Opera
   martyrs & heroes
   Sleep of Reason Begets Brutality

The Sleep of Reason Begets Brutality
The Imperial President
Wilfred Owen: 'Anthem for Doomed Youths'
Wilfred Owen: 'Disabled'
Scattered Dreams (video)







KRYSTOF WODICZKO   (Poland, b. 1943)


Art for a Change - Krzysztof Wodiczko







CHRISTIAN BOLTANSKI   (France, b. 1944)










DAVID WOJNAROWICZ   (American 1945 - 1992)


DAVID WOJNAROWICZ   (American, 1945 - 1992)

Arthur Rimbaud in New York   (early 1980s)

DAVID WOJNAROWICZ   (American, 1945 - 1992)

untitled (Buffalo)   1988-89

DAVID WOJNAROWICZ   (American, 1945 - 1992)

One Day This Kid


David Wojnarowicz (pronounced voy-nah-ROH-vitch) was a painter, photographer, writer, filmmaker, performance artist, and an AIDS activist who was prominent in the New York City art world during the 1980s. He's probably best known for a photographic image of of buffalo falling from a cliff, taken from a diorama of the Old West at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington. It became a symbol of the AIDS crisis; the band U2 put it on the cover of its 1992 single “One.”

An abused child and a teen-age street hustler, "Wojnarowicz made much of his personal history in the social margins in his art and writings. He was born in Red Bank, N.J., ran away from home, lived on the streets, and eventually graduated from the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan. . ." He was homeless for several years in his late teens, developing a lifelong fascination with social outcasts, with whom he identified - especially the work of self-destructive writers like Jean Genet and Arthur Rimbaud. He was first known for stenciling images of burning houses and falling figures onto the sides of buildings in the East Village. "About their influence, and about casual gay sex, he would write,: "It's this lawlessness and anonymity simultaneously that I desire, living among thugs, but men who live under no degree of law or demand, just continual motion and robbery and light roguishness and motion.” He had a friendship with the photographer Peter Hujar, who became is mentor.

He made super-8 films, created the photographic series "Arthur Rimbaud in New York", performed in the band Three Teens Kill 4 - No Motive, and exhibited his work in well known East Village galleries. In 1985, he was included in the Whitney Biennial, the so-called "Graffiti Show".

In 1987, when Wojnarowicz was 33, "he learned that he was HIV positive. His longtime partner, Tom Rauffenbart, had already contracted the virus." "At an AIDS demonstration in 1988 Wojnarowicz wore a jacket that declared in block letters across the back: “If I die of AIDS - forget burial - just drop my body on the steps of the F.D.A.” He died of AIDS-related illnesses on July 22, 1992 at age 37. His papers are at the New York University, Fales Library and Special Collections, NYC, NY


DAVID WOJNAROWICZ   (American, 1945 - 1992)

from the original 13-minute film
"FIRE IN MY BELLY"   (1986-87)



Fire in My Belly (1986–87) by David Wojnarowicz - original 13-minute version and a 7-minute excerpt made by the artist. Wojnarowicz made A Fire in My Belly after being diagnosed with HIV. A collage of images filmed primarily during the artist’s travels to Mexico, it combines footage from a number of sources that refer - often in graphic detail - to death, social inequality, faith, and desire. .

MoMA Announces New Acquisitions


"The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery has caved under Republican political pressure and removed a potentially "offensive' video work by David Wojnarowicz, a multi-media artist who was felled by AIDS in 1992, from its Hide/Seek exhibition. The exhibition, deemed brave and important by critics, uncovers previously-veiled LGBT influences in the history of art. Yet threats and demands that the exhibition be canceled from Reps. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Eric Cantor (R-Va.) have caused the NPG to remove Wojnarowicz’ “A Fire In My Belly,” a video that includes a brief clip (11 seconds) of ants crawling over a Jesus figure on a cross.

. . . it is a short, relatively tame scene. Dark, splotchy insects crawl over a plastic figurine, profane in the way that any physically disturbing painting of Jesus is profane. Wojnarowicz doesn’t blaspheme; his commentary is on loss of faith and doubt, a despairing image rather than one meant to shock. The video actually commemorates Peter Hujar, Wojnarowicz’ artist-colleague and lover. Not that the artist’s body of work or intention matters to the Republicans."



Washington Post: review of 'Hide/Seek'
Washington Post: NPG bows to censors. . .
New York Times: Boehner Is Now a Curator
The Washington City Paper
Los Angeles Times
The Naiton



DAVID WOJNAROWICZ   (American, 1945 - 1992)


"Wojnarowicz's thirty or so journals are stored in a pair of boxes in New York University's Fales Library. Folders of loose photographs, tickets, and postcards are also included . . . The journals were meant for publication and display. Composition books predominated. . . The covers are occasionally embellished with collage or a holographic sticker. . . Pages are pated overs with typescript, newsprint, photocopies of photographs, handwritten notes, redacted poems. The journals were a location in which Wojnarowicz prepared - by means of plans, lists, sketches - work he would later execute in other media. . .

. . . these books were a constant in the practice of a peripatetic artist who painted out of doors, who traveled, who regarded homelessness as inherent to humanity. . . the matter of having no home. . .

Of his diary accounts of sex at the West Side piers and elsewhere, Wojnarowicz told Sylvere Lotringer:

"When I wrote them I was so excited to write them, to document them. I thought they were the most amazing things that I had ever seen. They were like films or they reminded me of Burroughs's "Wild Boys." I love it. I loved the fact that it was outdoors, that it was by the river and in the wind. They were moments of incredible beauty to me." - "Sylivere Lotringer/David Wajnarowicz" in Ambrosino, 194-

Years Ago Before the Nation Went Bankrupt




The New York Times: Artist in Many Media
Primal Beauty in a Life Undeterred
Electronic Arts Intermix
A Fire in My Belly (A work in progress)
Censored! Art on Trial
Gref Kucera Gallery, Inc
Brooklyn Museum: "Hide/Seek"

Vimeo: A Fire in My Belly (Film in Progress)   (1986-87),  (00:13:06)
   Super 8mm film, black and white & color, silent
   Vimeo: A Fire in My Belly Excerpt   (00:07:00)
Vimeo: A Fire in My Belly  (1986-87),  (00:20:58)
One Day this kid. . .  
Wojnarowicz's Journal Make His Private World Very Public

artQueer: turning a queer eye to art:
   • Francis Bacon
   • Luis Caballero
   • Paul Cadmus
   • Charlies Demuth
   • Keith Haring
   • Marsden Hartley
   • David Hockney
   • Peter Hujar
   • Robert Mapplethorpe
   • phallus
   • David Wojnarowicz







PAUL MARCUS   (USA, b. 1953)


According to Paul Marcus, artists deal with the force of social revolution."
What they propagandized of course was Christianity. But hey, they were great at that. . ."



Income   (1999), color woodcut
from a portfolio of 12 woodcuts in edition of 25



Locked Down   (2001), etching

Marcus is known for his prints in woodcut and intaglio and his paintings which comment on social and political issues. His artwork examines "important topics such as foreign policy, immigration, discrimination, repression and corporate interests, issues which impact us all and . . ."



"I am a person born in the aftermath of Hitler's madness and the Atom Bomb; into a world of McCarthyism and the Korean War. My boyhood years were circumscribed by an era that took only minor strides toward justice; where Civil Rights had to be and still has to be demanded by a people who were enslaved.Bridge to the Future I came of age only to see my country engaged in an unjust war in Vietnam -- assassinating any progressive voice.

I've watched my friends and people all over the world dying of AIDS, WAR, DISCRIMINATION and POVERTY, because of apathy. I'm living in a society where greed is rewarded at the expense of Human Rights, Education, our Environment, our Health; where the Homeless have become the accepted norm.

I do not, I will not, accept this. I have spoken out and will continue to do so. This is who I am as the person; this is who I am as the artist."

Paul Marcus   (artist's statement)



The Old Printshop
'Art Is The Permanent Revolution'
Graphic Witness
   • statement
   • print sales
   • recent work
   • other contemporary artists







MARK VALLEN   (USA, b. 1953)


MARK VALLEN   (USA, b. 1953)

Ningun seer Humano es Ilegal   (1988)
No Human Being Is Illegal   (1988)

available for purchase
image copyright © 2013 Mark Vallen

"To oppose the rising tide of discrimination aimed at the undocumented in the U.S., from Arizona's racist SB1070 anti-immigrant law, to efforts by members of the U.S. Congress to overturn the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (which guarantees citizenship to children born on U.S. soil), Vallen republished his famous poster in August of 2010.

No Human Being is Illegal was first published as a bilingual street poster in 1988 in conjunction with a campaign conducted by the Los Angeles based Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), to secure the rights of undocumented Central American war refugees in the U.S. The 5,000 posters distributed popularized the slogan of "No Human Being is Illegal," a catchphrase that has since entered the lexicon of today's defenders of immigrant's rights.

Art for a Change


"I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California (1953) and I've been creating socially conscious artworks in the realist tradition for as long as I can remember.

I have faith in the ability of art to heal, transform, educate, and uplift - powers that are needed now more than ever before. In that spirit I present on this page just some of the artworks I've created from the period spanning 1975 to the present.
" - Mark Vallen

Mark Vallen


Art for a Change
The Art of Mark Vallen
   • A Short Biography
   • Sketches from Mark's student days
Mark Vallen's Blog
Hey, Hey, LBJ. . . LBJ Poster Art: 1962-1968
American Rhetoric: MLK Jr.









HONG SONG-DAM   (South Korea, b. 1955)


HONG SONG-DAM   (South Korea, b. 1955)

Protest   (1987)   woodcut
copyright © 2013 Hong Song-dam

"South Korean artist Hong Song-dam was tortured and imprisoned for seven years for making work depicting the Korean struggle for independence.

This print shows the beating to death of a young woman during a demonstration against military rule in 1980. The protest was brutally opposed by the army and thousands were killed."


Dog Food   (1988)   woodcut
copyright © 2013 Hong Song-dam

second hand book "Tyoololaki"   (nd)   woodcut
copyright © 2013 Hong Song-dam

Democratization artist and former member of the Civilian Army, Hong Song Dam, "is a South Korean artist who works with woodcuts. He was born on the island of Hauido and raised in Gwangju, where he took part in the 1980 uprising against Chun Doo-hwan's military dictatorship. After the uprising he became politically active, and in July 1989 was arrested for allegedly breaking the National Security Act (he had sent slides of a mural he had created, along with around 200 other South Korean artists, to North Korea).Amnesty International adopted him as a prisoner of conscience and he was released from prison in the early 1990s. He is an acclaimed member of the Minjung art movement, and in 1996 was commissioned by the Government of South Korea to create a 42 metre mural for Chonnam National University. . ."



In July 1989, Hong Sung-dam was arrested for allegedly breaking the National Security Act for sending slides of a mural he had created, along with around 200 other South Korean artists, to North Korea. Amnesty International adopted him as a prisoner of conscience; he was released from prison (where he was kept in solitary confinement for three years after being tortured by the Korean CIA) in the early 1990s.

Hong was commissioned by the Government of South Korea to create a mural for Chonnam National University. Human Rights Solidarity published this interview with Hong Sung-dam in 2002: "War Serves the Politicians but Not the People."


Resistance is not alway the whole picture:
   Hong Sung Dam's 'Dawn' woodcuts and the Gwangju uprising

   at World Socialist Web Site
Minjung Art
Images of Dissent
Nodutddol commenorates the Gwangju Massacre, 1980
Gangjeong by the Sea
Human Rights Solidarity
Amnesty International
   • search: "Hong Song-dam"








WILLIAN KENTRIDGE   (South African, b. 1955)


"To say that making art is a conversation or dialogue between the maker and the paper is to oversimplify- It is a series of attractions and repulsion that may begin with intention and end with analysis but the real meaning (the truth of the work) is arrived at in the processes and moments of making." - William Kentridge


"For many years I thought, Oh, I should've been a lawyer, but on the one hand there was a sense of that’s been done. My fathers done it, my mothers done it. It's not going to be done better by me, that's for sure. On the other was the sense of saying, there's a kind of a rational clarity to law which didn’t seem to me adequate to the comprehension of the world. The artist understands that both the optimistic and the pessimistic future unroll together. Making art was a way of arriving at knowledge that was not subject to cross-examination. It was an important way of trying to arrive at an opinion but not through the rationalist form of legal argument. And that's why in the work that I do there's a lot of strategy for, not the unconscious, but the non-planned to have a place and to lead to ideas. And that's where the art comes from. That's why art rather than analysis." - William Kentridge


WILLIAN KENTRIDGE   (South African, b. 1955)

still from: Felix In Exile   (1994)

still from: Felix In Exile   (1994)


WILLIAN KENTRIDGE   (South African, b. 1955)

from The Magic Flute

Drawing for The Magic Flute (Tamino's Rhinoceros)
charcoal and colored pencil on paper 17 1/2 by 23 1/2 in. (executed in 2004)


WILLIAM KENTRIDGE   (South Africa, b. 1955)
poster for "THE NOSE "

The Metropolitan Opera production of The Nose (2010)

William Kentridge was the director, producer and set designer for his production of Shostakovich's opera, THE NOSE, based on a satirical short story by Nikolai Gogol - written between 1835 and 1836). The production premiered at the Metropolitan Opera on March 5, 2010 - for only six performances. Paulo Szot starred as Kovalyov, the man who wakes up to discover that his nose has disappeared and acclaimed Shostakovich interpreter Valery Gergiev conducted.

Opening September 28, 2013: William Kentridge's production of Shostakovich's satirical opera, returns with Paulo Szot in the leading role and Valery Gergiev conducting.

Kentridge talks about his production on YouTube
The Met's production of "The Nose" on YouTube
Information about the Metropolitan Opera here
   • Synopsis of "The Nose"

William Kentridge, animated gif of The Nose
His Majesty, the Nose   (2008)
stills from the installation
"I am not me, the horse in not mine"

collection of the artist, © 2008 William Kentridge
Animation World Network


"William Kentridge lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was born. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Witwatersrand in Politics and African Studies and also studied at the Johannesburg Art Foundation, where he taught etching for several years. Throughout his career, Kentridge has demonstrated a talent for working in a range of mediums, including charcoal drawings, etchings, theatrical productions, set design, video installations, large-scale landscape works, and more."

WILLIAN KENTRIDGE   (South African, b. 1955)

untitled   (2005)drawing for "Black Box/Chambre Noire"

"He is best known for his short, animated films, done in predominantly black and white and without dialogue, as well as the charcoal and pastel drawings that result from his unique process of filmmaking. For each film, the drawings or stills are erased, re-drawn, and then photographed multiple times. The leftover drawings thus retain traces of all the previous drawings. For the artist, these traces act as a metaphor for South Africa's past and how it continues to linger in the social memory of the country and in the landscape. Though his films often portray the personal perspectives of the characters, Kentridge always manages to address broader issues of social and political conflicts through their stories."

The Legacy Project



Selected Film Directors
Kentridge at Tumblr
william-kentridge at Tumblr
ArtSlant - Kentridge's Trauerabeit
William Kentridge @ SFMOMA
William Kentridge: Stereocscope
William Kentridge: Black Box
Inside the Black Box
Death, Time, Soup The New York Review of Books
Mahindra Humanities center, Harvard
   • Drawing Lesson One: In Praise of Shadows
Anything is Possible
Anything is Possible
Vertical Thinking
Exploring Apartheid and Animation at MoMA
"What Will Come"
Marian Goodman Gallery
   • "Other Faces", 2011
   • "Breathe, Dissolve, Return", 2010
   • "Seeing Double", 2008
   • "Selected Works", 2006
   • "The Magic Flute", 2006
Pain and Sympathy
Shadow and Reason in Kentridge's "The Magic Flute"
Johannesburg (bio.m4v)
YouTube: Interview with Kentridge on THE NOSE at the MET OPERA
YouTube: Tim Hamill Visiting Artist Lecture: William Kentridge







KARA WALKER   (USA, b. 1967)


"The black silhouette just happened to suit my needs very well. I often compare my method of working to that of a well-meaning freed woman in a Northern state who is attempting to delineate the horrors of Southern slavery but with next to no resources, other than some paper and a pen knife and some people she’d like to kill."

"In her black cut-paper silhouettes, Kara Walker uses a decorative, and bourgeois, 18th century French technique to create a chilling narrative of race in America. Walker's exaggerated figureheads, which reference the derogatory aesthetic of antebellum minstrel shows, disrupt the viewer's sense of historical and contemporary race relations."

Some of Walker's pieces are alarmingly violent: a man carried by a stick up his rectum; a woman in a hoop skirt, a fashion donned by mistresses and slave women in the pre-Civil War south, holds a child upside down as the youngster vomits into the hand of a young girl. While the silhouette is often a trivial medium that turns a person or attitude into a caricature, Walker's pieces are at once disturbing, absurdist and utterly disarming.

Gund Gallery, Kenyon College


KARA WALKER   (USA, b. 1967)

Camptown Ladies   (1969)   black paper silhouette
Copyright © 2012 Kara Walker

KARA WALKER   (USA, b. 1967)

The Rich Soil Down There (2002)   Cut paper and adhesive on painted wall
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Copyright © 2012 Kara Walker

"Kara Walker was born in Stockton, California, in 1969. She received a BFA from the Atlanta College of Art in 1991, and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994. The artist is best known for exploring the raw intersection of race, gender, and sexuality through her iconic, silhouetted figures. Walker unleashes the traditionally proper Victorian medium of the silhouette directly onto the walls of the gallery, creating a theatrical space in which her unruly cut-paper characters fornicate and inflict violence on one another. In works like "Darkytown Rebellion" (2000), the artist uses overhead projectors to throw colored light onto the ceiling, walls, and floor of the exhibition space; the lights cast a shadow of the viewer’s body onto the walls, where it mingles with Walker’s black-paper figures and landscapes. With one foot in the historical realism of slavery and the other in the fantastical space of the romance novel, Walker’s nightmarish fictions simultaneously seduce and implicate the audience. . ."

PBS: art 21


KARA WALKER   (USA, b. 1967)

A Warm Summer Evening in 1863  (2008)
wool tapestry with hand cut felt silhouette
Banners of Persuasion Copyright © 2012 Kara Walker

Kara Walker’s work deals with racism, identity and social injustice, focusing on images from the Deep South of America, showing the memories of plantation owners and their slaves.

The Art of Kara Walker


You Will Never Forget, 2000
i heart Kara Walker

image   (1)
Atrocity/Witness/*yawn*/warning warning/Repeat (2008)
Live Free of Die
Black White Gray Blue












" Humans should always evolve to be better global citizens. Artist and designers are uniquely positioned to advocate through Cultural or Social Design, and Creative Activism. With this powerful gift of creativity, conscious artist can become a catalyst for social awareness and protest. However, to be an effective poster designer, understanding this medium is also a lesson in how the human mind see things.

Design professionals can play a positive role because we have the tools to influence. However, we have to be enlightened to the realities around us to do this. Many designers use their creativity to sell corporate products and push their commercial interest, because it is necessary, it is how designers make a living. However, it is also necessary to give back some time, energy and creativity to make a difference in our world. With nothing except our minds and a computer, today we can create sophisticated visual campaigns to build movements to tackle big issues like injustice, poverty and world hunger, or to stimulate the process for changing society. . .

. . . Beautifully designed posters are effective in getting attention. You see it and it it is clear that this design works. A good iconic poster design in my opinion should have balance and beauty. One should get the message quickly even in a foreign language, a piece of art you would like to hang on your own wall. Whatever the message the composition and idea should be harmonious, and the message should never be compromised. Keep the message clear and simple with out-of-the-box creative thinking."






WORLD WAR I POSTERS   (1914-1918)




I Want You for the U.S. Army   (1917)
The artist (Flagg) used himself as a model for Uncle Sam.





Sow the Seeds of Victory!
Plant and raise your own vegetables
  (circa 1918)
Original medium: lithograph, color ; 56 x 36 cm.
Poster for the U.S. Food Administration
Copyright © 2013 collection of Scattergood-Moore





BRITONS (Lord Kitchener) WANT YOU   (UK, 1914)
Parliamentary Recruiting Committee





James Montgomery Flagg
Side-by-Side - Britannia (1918)

James Montgomery Flagg's poster, "Side-by-Side - Britannia" is unusual because it depicts Uncle Sam and Britannia arm in arm immediately after the ending of WW1. It was done for a public meeting so Americans could congratulate the British Empire on "winning" the war against the German Empire. Note that Sam and Britannia are standing on a small rock in the middle of the ocean (which was dominated by the victorious British Navy); Britannia is wearing a Roman helmet and holding a trident pointing upwards, while Uncle Sam is wearing some striking striped red trousers and has his sword pointing downwards ; the British lion is striding towards the viewer and the American eagle is flapping its wings perhaps in preparation for taking off. . ." David Hart


World War I Propaganda Posters
Le squelette joyeux (1895) Auguste & Louis Lumiere





"HELP RUSSIA"   (1921) & "NEVER AGAIN"   (1924)


KATHE KOLLWITZ   (Germany, 1867-1945)

Left: Helft Russland - Help Russia   (1921)
Poster, planographic, lithography
bottom of image: 'Komite fur Arbeiterhlfe Berlin Rosenthalvatr 38'
'Committee for aid workers Rosenthal Str 38 Berlin'

Right: Nie wieder Krieg / Never again war   (1924)
Poster, planographic, lithography
Kathe-Kollwitz-Museum Berlin


Kathe Kollwitz is primarily known as a graphic artist and sculptor. An artist of strong social convictions, she spent most of her life in a working-class section of Berlin and all of her works are permeated by a strong sense of awareness of the plight of the impoverished and the oppressed. In this context, Helft Russland is characteristic of Kollwitz's powerful graphic style and clearly demonstrates her masterly draughtsmanship.

"Never again war" / "Nie wieder Krieg" was the motto of the mass rallies, which were held every year in early August, by the pacifist organizations on the occasion of the "anti-war day" in Germany - as a reminder of the experience of August 1914 and the beginning of the First World War . The pacifists remind during the Weimar Republic again and again of the suffering in the war and demanded disarmament and peaceful coexistence of all peoples.

The socially and politically committed artist Kathe Kollwitz supported these efforts with works in which they dealt with the horrors of war: in 1922/23, she created a series of woodcuts called "War." In 1922, she received the "International Trade Union Confederation," an order for a poster for the "Anti-War". It appeared in 1924 under the title "The survivors / war-war." For the Central German Youth of the Socialist labor movement in 1924, she created the image of a fighting woman with the admonition upraised arm, "No more war" - determined to make the words for the preservation of peace. "If I know myself participate in an international community against the war, I'm 'a warm, flowing through and satisfying feeling. . . I agree with the fact that my art has purpose. I want to work in this time when people are so helpless and in need of help," she wrote this in her diary.

Pacifism in the Weimar Republic


The Graphic Works (55)
Helft Russland
Out with our prisoners!
  Come all to the National Association for the Protection of German war and civil prisoners





WORLD WAR II POSTERS   (1939-1945)


"WE CAN DO IT"   (USA, 1943)


J. HOWARD MILLER   (ca. 1915 - ca. 1990)

We Can Do It!   (1943)
Photolithograph   (22 x 17 inches)
Poster for War Production Coordinating Commitee
National Archives, Washington, D.C.


"We Can Do It!" is an American wartime propaganda poster produced by J. Howard Miller in 1943 for Westinghouse Electric as an inspirational image to boost worker morale. The poster is generally thought to be based on a black-and-white wire service photograph taken of a Michigan factory worker named Geraldine Hoff.

The poster was seen very little during World War II. It was rediscovered in the early 1980s and widely reproduced in many forms, often called "We Can Do It!" but also called "Rosie the Riveter" after the iconic figure of a strong female war production worker. The "We Can Do It!" image was used to promote feminism and other political issues beginning in the 1980s.





Loose Lips might Sink Ships   (1941-1945?)
created by
Essargee (pseudonym for Seymour R. Goff)
published by the House of Seagram
Workplace Posters in the United States




BEN SHAHN   (Lithuanian/American 1898 - 1969)

This Is Nazi Brutality, photo-offset in colors, (1942)

At the home front, the painter and part-time photographer Ben Shahn worked for the Office of War Information in 1942, creating paintings that were intended to help the war effort. In the 1930s, Shahn had experimented with photography and painting, translating his New York-photographs into meticulously crafted word-image-combinations. For his OWI-paintings, Shahn moved beyond the intermediality of these earlier experiments. In "This Is Nazi Brutality" from 1942, he juxtaposed and combined three different layers of media communication: the radio telegram recalling the official announcement from Berlin about the destruction of Lidice, the explicatory sentence "This is Nazi brutality" pointing out the dominant meaning of the war poster, and, finally, the painting of a hooded, handcuffed, and imprisoned figure.

By creating this hybrid combination of image and text, Shahn produced war propaganda, but he also reflected upon the act of creating it. Although the poster stems from the Office of War Information, the viewer senses a desire to subvert all kinds of official announcements and a desire to contrast them with more immediate and powerful images of suffering. The Nazi telegram is framed by its American designation as an exemplary case of brutality. What becomes most striking in the painting is the enormous human figure, looming both over the telegram and its commentary. Clenched fists signify attempts at resistance, while the dark suit and white shirt add the connotation of the man’s belonging to the class of intellectuals. This is one of the men mentioned in the telegram, about to be shot inside the prison walls. However, the crucial part of his body capable of creating the most powerful effect of empathy is not visible: his face. An enormous, elaborately painted hood dominates the upper third of the painting and covers his head. It leaves the man’s strong hands as the only visible marker of bodily agitation.

Thus, in Ben Shahn's case, too, emulating and mixing different forms of media communication triggers a reflection on the invisible. By covering the man's face, Shahn resisted the temptation of presenting him as an easily identifiable victim. Rather, he stressed the invisible and unknowable quality of the traumatic experience alluded to in the telegram, and evaluated as an act of brutality in the telegram’s framing. The most effective visual reference of the verbal signifier "brutality' is withheld as the suffering face remains hidden. Shahn's painting, at first glance a straightforward indictment of Nazi brutality, reveals itself to be not just a reflection on the invisible, but also on the difficulties of creating propaganda for a democratic culture committed to a strong notion of individualism. Shahn worked for less than a year for the Office of War Information. Frances Pohl suggests that he was pursuing a different notion of propaganda which was ultimately incompatible with the official line: "Most of Shahn’s paintings were being rejected by OWI officials because they were too 'violent' or not 'appealing enough'"


Painting, Photography, and World-War II
The double-movement of representational scepticism and aesthetic complexity can be found in painting and film. The first example, Ben Shahn's 1942 painting "This Is Nazi Brutality" is related to Hemingway's atrocity discourse in his story “Soldier’s Home” and addresses the question of using traumatic events for the purposes of propaganda. The second example, Paul Haggis' film In the Valley of Elah (2007) continues, in technologically advanced form, the discourse of a wound culture. . . . Shahn’s painting may be seen as belonging to a unique American tradition of trauma narratives related to the experience of war, yet his work, in particular, was also engaging with transnational Modernist movements in photography, collage artworks, and painting. In the European context, Dada artists, such as George Grosz and John Heartfield, developed elaborate forms of caricature and photomontage addressing the experience of the First World War, as well as the atmosphere of violence in the Weimar Republic and the early Nazi regime. In the United States too, hybrid combinations of image and text proliferated in New Deal related art programs - Shahn worked as a photographer for the Farm Security Administration along with Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans - but also in magazines such as Life or Time.

Trauma Narratives


"BUY WAR BONDS"   (USA, 1942)



"DO WITH LESS . . ."   (USA, 1943)


Do With Less, So They'll Have Enough!
Rationing Fives You Your Fair Share
Office of War Information (OWI Poster No. 37
U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.

"Thomas Murray would do his part to win WWII by being the poster boy for rationing. During the war, Americans had to use ration stamps to buy all manner of goods that were in short supply, because these goods were needed for the war effort. Coffee, butter, rubber, and many other staples were hard to come by. The US used poster campaigns to put a face on the soldier who was fighting for the country and who needed these goods, as a way to encourage Americans to make sacrifices and tolerate rationing. This iconic photograph of Murray smiling to the camera and holding a military cup of “Joe” was one of the most popular “support rationing” posters of the war effort. Murray died in 2002 at the age of 87 and was buried with full military honors."

P.S. a modified version of the poster - "How about a nice cup of shut the fuck up" - gained popularity on the Internet but caused Murray's family to be unhappy with the new version.


left: Of Couse I Can (1944) by Dick Williams.   right: Free Labor Will Win (1942)



"TALK LESS - YOU NEVER KNOW"   (UK, circa 1940)


Talk Less - You Never Know   (UK, circa 1940)



"THE STANDARD BEARER"   (Germany, circa 1935)


Der Bannertrager ("The Standard Bearer") circa 1935

artist: Hubert Lanzinger

Hubert Lanzinger's portrait - "Der Bannertrager" - depicts Hitler as a messianic figure gazing toward a better future for Germany, with the Nazi flag billowing behind him. Austrian-born artist Lanzinger (1880-1950) painted this work in oils on a wood panel. It was first displayed at the Great German Art Exhibition in Munich in 1937. Some say that Hitler himself picked this image after being dismayed by the other selected artwork. Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler’s official photographer and an exhibition judge, had the image made into a postcard around 1938. After the war, a U.S. soldier pierced the painting with a bayonet. It was then transferred to the U.S. Army Art Collection, German War Art Collection, where it remains to this day."

US Holocaust Memorial Museum





LEFT: The German student, (1936), Kunstbibliathek
RIGHT: Students - Be the Fuhrer's propagandists (nd)
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs, Washington, D.C.

LEFT: Behind the enemy powers: the Jews, (nd)
Nazi propaganda poster portraying stereotyped Jew conspirator
USHMM Collection, Gift of Helmut Eschwege
RIGHT: Nuremberg - Guilty! (circa 1945-46)
poster for Allied authorities in Germany after the war
emphasizing the criminal nature of the Nazi regime.
USHMM Collection, The Abraham and Ruth Goldfarb Family



"KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT"   (Soviet Union, 1930)


Keep your mouth shut   (1941) by Nina Vatolina

Poem by Soviet poet Samuil Marshak:
   Keep your eye open.
   These days,
   Even the walls have ears.
   Chatter and gossip
   Go hand in hand with


Death to The German Fascist Invaders   (1943)





VICTORY!, (Mexico, nd)

Artists Popular Graphics Workshop
we joint the jubilation of all workers and progressive men
of Mexico and the world by the glorious triumph of the
Red Army and weapons of all UN Nazi Germany, as the
most important step to the




Boche: origin of a racial slur

You Never Know British WWII poster

The National WW II Museum
National Archives: Powers of Persuasion
   • Any Bonds Today song (.wav)
   • Bugs Bunny movie for Buy Bonds (.mov)
   • Man the Guns!
   • It's A Woman's War Too!
   • United We Win
   • Four Freedoms (Norman Roackwell)
   • This is Nazi Brutality
   • He's Watching You
   • Stamp 'Em Out!
Workplace Posters in the United States
   • defense industry:
      • Production. . . America's answer (1942)
      • United We Win (1943)
      • They'll Let Us know When to Quit! (1941-1945?)
   • patriotism
      • We'll Take Care of the Rising Sun (1942?)
      • Help RCA Help USA (1942?)
      • Give it Your Best! (1942)
   • safety
   • war posters
      • Free Labor Will Win (1942)
      • Sink A Sub from Your Farm (1941-1945?)
      • I Need Your Skill In A War Job! (1943), James Montgomery Flagg
      • Loose Lips Might Sink Ships (194`-1945?), Essargee
      • Of Couse I Can (1944), Dick Williams

Posters from Nazi Germany
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
   • Propaganda:
      • Der Bannertrager
      • Students/Be the Fuhrer's propagandists
      • Early Nazi campaign poster by Mjohnir
      • The German student
      • The Eternal Jew
      • Poster promoting German railway
      • Youth Serves the Leader
      • Behind the enemy powers: the Jews
      • Nuremberg / Guilty
Nazi History Painting








TOMI UNGERER   (France, b. 1931)

Black Power, White Power   (1967)



If Toulouse-Lautrec had been a Twentieth Century man with a taste for politics, his work would doubtless have resembled that of Tomi Ungerer, a brilliant illustrator and graphic designer who levels his sure hand and distaste for hypocrisy at some of the major American issues of the late 1960s. “Black Power/White Power” is arguably the ultimate statement on U.S. race relations, then and now. “Acerbic criticism of foundering social values requires explicitness . . . Ungerer meets the requirements . . . with a savagely frontal image”


Ungerer explains his incisive view of racial situations: "I'm just a spectator," he says of his work, "and I draw what I see and make my comments. Some of my books are nice, some are aggressive and despairing. We have all of these elements in us and I use all of them." From the heart of the civil rights movement, he ironically depicts the gulf between activists as each devours the other.

Posters American Style: Advice to Americans


Tomi Ungerer, A Childhood Under the Nazi








Vietnam Summer   (1967)

25x16 3/4 inches, poster
Numbered, edition of 100, signed by the artist in pencil.
From a limited edition issued by the artist after the poster. Gallo p. 287
Copyright © 2013 collection of Scattergood-Moore



more on sigmund abeles





"McCARTHY - PEACE"   (1968)


BEN SHAHN   (1898–1969)

McCathy - Peace (1968)
offset lithograph,   (25 x 38 inches)








BEN SHAHN   (1898–1969)

Container Corporation of America
You Have Not Converted a Man
Because You have Silenced Him
offset lithograph 114.2 x 76.2 cm (45 x 30 in.)
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of the Container Corporation of America
© 1998 Estate of Ben Shahn/Licensed by VAGA, New York, N.Y.


In this poster, Shahn brings his distinctive style of creating a figure with black crayon line into balance with his extensive interest in lettering and typography. It was produced as part of the "Great Ideas of Western Man" series issued by the Container Corporation of America. Here Shahn illustrates a quotation from John Viscount Morley, an English Member of Parliament and Secretary of State of India. This poster joins an artist known for his liberal views with a politician remembered as an outspoken pacifist.

Posters American Style: Advice to Americans


see information above. . .
Gandi poster






(founder: FELICE REGAN   (b. 1948)


   • PANDA   (1982-83)

Panda   (1982-83)
Artist: Felice Regan
Title: Panda
Type: Paster Art Print
Printing: serigraph on paper


   • Endangered - Polar Bear   (1984)

Endangered - Polar Bear   (1984)
Design firm and Printer: The Graphic Workshop
Designer and Lettering: Agusta Agustsson
Medium: serigraph on paper; Size: 29 x 39 inches
AIGA Design Archives


   • Endangered Cuban Crocodile   (1987)

Endangered Cuban Crocodile   (1987)
Serigraph on paper   (22 1/2 x 36 1/4 inches)
Design firm: The Graphic Workshop
Art director, Artist & Publisher: Judy Kensley McKie
Printer: Orange Line Press, New Jersey
IGA Design Archives

The Cuban Crocodile (Crocodylus rhombifer) is a small species (2.4 meters - 8 feet- average length) of crocodile found only in Cuba's Zapata Swamp and the Isle of Youth, and is highly endangered. This species has numerous interesting characteristics that set it apart from other crocodilians, such as its brighter adult colors, rougher, more 'pebbled' scales, and long, strong legs. This species is the most terrestrial of crocodiles, and also possibly the most intelligent.


   • "Endangered - The Kangaroo   (no date)

Endangered - The Kangaroo (nd)
Artist: Felice Regan
Title: Endangered - The Kangaroo
Size: 62.5 x 79.0 cm
Type: Poster Art Print
Printing: Silkscreen



Felice Regan (American, b. 1948) has had a long love affair with art and nature, which began in 1970 when she started producing photographic silk screen images of animals at the Franklin Park Zoo outside of Boston. That same year, Regan received her B.F.A. degree from the Massachusetts College of Art and promptly founded the Graphic Workshop, an artists' collaborative.

. . . In 1975, the Graphic Workshop got their first big break designing posters for the World Society for the Protection of Animals. Even after the project fell through, Regan decided to proceed anyway, creating what became known as the "Endangered Species" Series. The series, which has become a trademark of the workshop, led Regan and her colleagues to produce some of their best-known works.

Smithsonian American Art Museum


left: Endangered - Rain Forest
right: Endangered - Rain Forest Frogs
Silkscreen posters
images copyright © 2013 The Graphic Workshop


American Art: Felice Regan
  • Giant Panda, 1982-83, serigraph on paper   (image)
Taylor's Design: Endangered Panda
The Graphic Imperative
   • ISSUU - Advocacy Poster by Samuel Willger








RED SUN PRESS   (USA, 1973-)


poster for "Red Sun Press"   (nd)
image copyright © 2013 Red Sun Press

Nelson Mandela   (1990) by Kim Berman
for 'Fund for a Free South Africa'
image copyright © 2013 Kim Berman


"Red Sun Press is a cooperatively-managed printing and graphic design shop in Jamaica Plain, a diverse and burgeoning neighborhood in Boston, MA. We have a small plant with fully equipped offset presses, electronic design and pre-press capabilities, digital copy and bindery departments, and a growing customer base of non-profit organizations, socially responsible businesses and government agencies.

In 1973, Red Sun was founded with $350 and a small press in a Cambridge, MA basement. The founders, who were active in the civil rights, anti-war, environmental and women's movements, envisioned a full service print shop that would support the movement for political and social change.

The faces have changed, but the mission remains the same, and our staff reflects the diversity of the community we serve."

Meet Red Sun Press Printing for Peace and Justice


Red Sun Press Jamaica Plain, MA
   Progressive posters printed at Red Sun







KEITH HARING   (1958 - 1990)
Ignorance = Fear   Silence = Death   (1989)
Poster for "Act Up"   (Fight AIDS)
image copyright © 2013 Keith Haring








OBAMA - HOPE   (2008)


SHEPARD FAIREY   (American, b. 1970)
Obama - Hope   (2008)
image copyright © 2013 Shepard Fairey
Poster for 2008 Obama presidential campaign
"PROGRESS", "HOPE", or "CHANGE" below image


"With his roots in the skateboarding scene, South Carolina-born graphic designer and illustrator Shepard Fairey built a name for himself with his 'Andre the Giant' guerrilla sticker campaigns - but it was his involvement in the 2008 US Presidential election that really catapulted him towards global recognition.

Fairey's now-iconic Barack Obama 'Hope' poster, featuring a four-color portrait of the then-Senator in red, beige, light and dark blue, also came in 'Change' and 'Progress' varieties, and was created in a day. Having started life as a screen-printed poster (which sold out almost immediately), the design spread virally across the United States and the rest of the world as a symbol of what American politics could potentially become.

The revelation the following year that Fairey had based the design on a photograph by Associated Press photographer Mannie Garcia without permission - and later admitted to destroying evidence in the ensuing legal battle with AP - led to a community service and a hefty fine. Amongst designers, it's now as much a symbol of copyright infringement as it is a piece of political iconography. But whatever the circumstances of its creation, its influence during the election campaign was enormous."

Greative Blog


OBEY GIANT - Worldwide Propaganda Delivery
Shepard Fairey / Obey
   • Noam Chomsky
   • This is Your God - Castro Money







RON ENGLISH   (American, 1966)
Abraham Obama"   (2008)
image copyright © 2013 Ron English

RON ENGLISH   (American, 1966)
Ron English's "Abraham Obama"   (July 2008)

English pasted up 11 13-foot-tall reproductions of his painting Abraham Obama
which merges the features of President Lincoln with Barack Obama’s.
Each poster had a different color; that created a rainbow of variations.
Part of an exhibition at Gallery XIV , Boston, titled “a politic” show."
The Phoenix, Boston review

Ron English's PoPaganda
Ron English's Abraham Obama
Shockblast: Ron English

Abraham Obama Spectrum Rainbow







REVEL   (2010)
Paul Bogle Jamaican Freedom Fighter 1820 - 1865
image copyright © 2013 Michael Thompson


About Michael Thompson aka FREESTYLEE: Artist Without Borders, Graphic Design Consultant, Creative Activist and Poster Designer

Michael Thompson aka FREESTYLEE: Artist Without Borders, is a Graphic Design Consultant, Creative Activist and Poster Designer. Studied Graphic Design at the Jamaica School of Art in Kingston, Jamaica. He has participated in numerous awareness campaigns for organizations such as Code Pink, Gaza Freedom March, Living History Forum of Stockholm Sweden, and Face Africa clean water efforts in Africa. He also consulted on design projects for the National Urban League.

Michael Thompson is also the founder of the First International Reggae Poster (

His current exhibition, "Freestylee: Artist Without Borders” organized with curator David Thomas is presented July 16 through September 2012 at the Drum Arts Center in Birmingham UK. Michael participated in a previous exhibition, “Edna Manley's Bogle a Contest of Icons, 2010” curated by Executive Director Veerle Poupeye of the National Gallery of Jamaica, the oldest and largest public art gallery in the Anglophone Caribbean. His works has also successfully traveled through Europe with the “Reggae Movement Exhibition:” telling the story of the Reggae Sound System's journey from Kingston, Jamaica to Europe (2011). Feature articles about Michael have appeared in international magazines, Riddim, Samuel, Irie Up, Page, and Arise. Recently his posters have appeared on the streets of the Arab Spring.

Current address: 827 Eden Terrace, Easton, PA, 18042, USA

Facebook Freestylee - Artist Without Borders


The Artist Without Borders
Freestylee - Artist Without Borders


Egypt Revolution   (2011)
Paul Bogle, REBEL
more Thompson posters at flickr







ERIC DROOKER   (American, b. 1958)
General Strike   2011
Poster for IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) Strike
image copyright © 2013 Eric Drooker


March 7, 2011: "Just about 2 weeks ago, we received a phone call from the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) for our artist, Eric Drooker, to design and illustrate the poster for the General Strike of 2011. Without going into the issues in depth, the Governor, Scott Walker of Wisconsin has proposed a bill, which will, if passed, strip Unions of the right to negotiate contracts collectively for their members. It will have potentially devastating effects for all public service employees in Wisconsin (and other states if other governors propose such bills for their states.) Drooker enthusiastically accepted the project pro bono and now his image is being displayed on the I.W.W. website internationally in 3 languages as well as being used by protesters all over the U.S. (and perhaps the world?)"

Richard Solomon Artists Representative


The Art of Eric Drooker
Justseeds: Be prepared for the General Strike . . .







anti-nuclear group founded in 1982 at 144 Moody Street, Waltham, MA, USA


Artists for Survival
Printed at Red Sun Press (print shop)
offset lithograph on paper
22.5 in high x 17.5 in wide
source: OMCA collections: work on paper

Poster has a green background and a thin white border overall. Center of poster has a large white circle. Top of poster has the text: "Save Life". Bottom of poster has the text: "On Earth / Support the Nuclear Freeze Now / 'Artists For Survival' / Boston area".

Bryn Mawr

Press on titles (in bold font) to enlarge. . .


left: Madeleine Evans, untitled, (nd) silkscreen
right: Elizabeth Cavicchi, untitled, (nd) oil stick
'And there will be distress of nations in perplexity
at the roaring of the Seas and Waves' Luke 22:25
Look UP! Raise Your Heads!

left: Jim Ann Howard, untitled, (nd), collage & mixed media
right: Vivian Berman, untitled, (nd), intaglio print

(instructor of workshop: Scattergood-Moore)
left: Rena Oygioibua, Feed the Children, (1985) photo-silkscreen
right: Patrica Olshan, Tears for Fears, (1985) silkscreen


Save Life On Earth
gas mask on poster with additional paint and collage
Private collection, Brandis University, Waltham, MA


Swarthmore College Peace Collection
   • Suport the Nuclear Freeze NOW (nd) Jean Unger
   • Save Life on Earth (nd) no name
   • Save Life on Earth (nd) Doffy Arnold
   • Save Life on Earth (nd) J. Brennan
Oakland Museum of CA:
   • Save Life on Earth, (nd)
   • Peace Now (1970) screen print
   • America is a Democracy Only as Long. . .
      Kamakazi Design Group (1970) offest lithograph

   • Is Your Education Worth it? (1969) silkscreen
   • We are rags and patches. . . (c.1972) Boston Women's Graphic Collective
   • untitled (road signs) (c.1968) Sister Mary Corita, silkscreen
   • Survival! 2nd american artists congress (1975) Virgina J. Mason
   • March to Protest. . ., (1979) Tia Cross, Red Sun Press Jamacia Plain, MA
   • Boston Mar. 5, 1770: Kent State May 4, 1970 (1970)
      SBS Creative Designs, offset lithograph



Edna Kamen, untitled, (1986) oil crayons

image copyright © 2013 Edna Kamen






Suzanne Hodes (nd) peace bottom
image copyright © 2013 Suzanne Hoses

Artists for Mideast Peace

Artists for Mideast Peace was founded in 1983 by Jewish, Arab, and other artists in Mass. We use a white centered poster, bordered with Shalom:al-Salam:Peace in Hebrew/English/Arabic calligraphy, done by Prof. Roy Brown of Mass. College of Art, and Palestinian-American musician Sybil Totah Belmont. Our posters and buttons have been used by dozens of groups at scores of events, including Seeds of Peace at the 1994 White House lawn Peres/Arafat/Clinton/Rabin ceremony. Their paintings were then exhibited at the U.S. Capitol under the auspices of the late Rep. Tom Lantos.

Whither Thou Goest (2002) enamel on copper

image copyright © 2013 Mitch Kamen


The original button, from a poster painted by a nine year old boy, Justin Finn, in Mass., depicts two figures, Israeli and Palestinian, holding their flags together in a gesture of friendship and peace. Introduced to Israel/Palestine through Women in Black and Women Go for Peace, it technically legalized the image when then P.M. Shamir had three Jerusalem City Council members hauled off to the Police for wearing a "terrorist" symbol; they officially declared it a legal "peace button".

Mitch Kamen (Artists for Mideast Peace)


The Palestine Poster Project Archives
Social Justice Posters
Middle East Peace Quilt
Why Activist Posters are Here to Stay
Art for a Change
Posters with a Message
Waltham Mills Artists Association
   • WMAA Weekly Figure Drawing
Mitch Kamen: Lost and Found, enamel on copper

Joseph Woolfolk, Basrah to Baghdad







Have you enlisted in the army?   (nd)
(support for the Russian Revolution)
poster designed by Dmitry Moor
image copyright © 2013 Dmitry Moor


"Soviet propaganda posters first appeared following the success of the Russian Revolution. They were used to promote the revolution, stir optimism for a new society (one that stood for literacy and improvement of health care) and to attack opponents of Lenin's government. Very few newspapers were published during the time and therefore the posters served as a primary means of communication. During the Russian Revolution, the posters were sent to the front lines of Communist opposition cities with the warning that "anyone who tears down or covers up this poster is committing a counter-revolutionary act."

With Stalin in charge by the 1930s, the posters began to focus more on political discipline and ambitious government programs, particularly the collectivization of land and establishment of industry. Subsequently, many produced powerful and dynamic posters with bright colors and distinct shapes. However, these were later replaced with more lifelike images. The red star – the Soviet Red Army’s symbol - was also ubiquitous, as was the hammer and sickle. The posters were used throughout World War 2 for a panoply of reasons: to promote the Russian cause, convince people to enlist and to boost citizen morale."

Amazing Soviet Propaganda Posters


Electrification by Samokhvalov
image copyright © 2013 Samokhvalov

Construct A Fleet of Airships in the Name of Lenin

Live the Leninist-Stalinist Communist Youth League
Chief of they Navy of the USSR!


Mao Tse Tung

"Destroy the old world; build a new world"
Red Guard crushes crucifix, Buddha and classical Chinese books


Kim Jon II


Jornada de Solidaridad   (1969)
"Day of Solidarity with the People of Palestine"
created by Faustino Perez (Cuban)
languages: Arabic, English, French & Spanish
published by
image copyright © 2013 Faustino Perez




Unconstrained Consequences
Cantor Center: 'Revolutionary Tides:
   Art of Political Posters, 1914-1989

Soviet Political Posters
Soviet Propaganda Posters Dieselpunks
Amazing Soviet Propaganda Posters
Long Live Our Glorious Motherland!

Comrade Mao Zedong is the greatest Marxist-Leninist
   of the present age
- Chinese propaganda poster (1969)

Cultural Revolution Wikipedia

North Korean propaganda posters
   • propaganda poster in Wonsan area
   • DPRK / North Korea
   • President Kim II Sung Eternal Sun
   • Kim Jong II and Kim II Sung and the kids
North Korean Propaganda Posters ABC News

The Palestine Poster Project
   • Organization of Solidarity with the Peoples
      of Africa, Asia and Latin America








Solidarity   (1989) Polish poster
image copyright © 2013 Tomasz Sarneck

policja police   (1982)   Polish poster

image copyright © 2013 Mieczyslaw Gorowski


Freedom on the Fence, a film by Andrea Marks, is a documentary film about the history of Polish posters and their significance to the social, political and cultural life of Poland. The film examines the period from WWII through the fall of Communism, and captures the paradox of how this unique art form flourished within a Communist regime.

The documentary contains interviews with older and younger generations of poster artists, examples of past and current poster work, historic and current film footage of where and how the poster is viewed, and commentaries from both American and Polish scholars and artists on the significance of the Polish poster as a cultural icon.

   FREEDOM ON THE FENCE (Polish posters)
   • A Brief History
   • Artist Biographies
      • Roman Cieslewicz
      • Stasys Eidrigevicius
      • Wiktor Gorka
      • Mieczyslaw Gorowski
         • policja / police   (1982)
      • Tomasz Sarnecki
         • solidarity   (1989)
      • etc., etc. . .
   • A note from producer Andrea Marks
   • Related Links







JIM FITZPATRICK "Che"   (1968)
based on original photograph by Alberto Korda
image copyright © 2013 Jim Fitzpatrick


During the 1968 Paris student riots and for years to come, Jim Fitzpatrick's stylized poster of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara became a common youthful symbol of rebellion.

Dolk - The Giant: The Definitive Obey Giant Site


In 1967 when Che died in Bolivia jungles, Feltrinelli took the original photo of Alberto Korda, gave a refilada the sides and had run millions of posters with the face of the pop star. Won some money, but helped canonize Che Guevara with public opinion. Neither Fidel nor Alberto Korda never found bad, so much so that even Fidel handed Feltrinelli the original Diary of Bolivia, posthumous Che Guevara who also rocked the bookstores in the world.

But it was still a pittance in terms of success. The following year an Irish artist named Jim Fitzpatrick took the photo of Korda, cut by Feltrinelli and sent to see a red and black monotype lindona and put the work into the public domain, to be used for releasing freely by anyone without any cost in love. Then the image of the guerrilla rocked once, the figure of Che began to play wildly in all parts of the world and all that is product type. The shirts were just the beginning. . .

Ché Guevara, Day of the Heroic Guerrilla   (1968 or 1982)
poster created by Helena Serrano

OSPAAAL posters
image copyright © 2013 Helena Serrano


ENOUGH!   (nd)
"Demonstrate Against War in Central America
No Aid for Contra Terror"
image copyright © 2013 Mark Vallen


Free South Africa   (1985)   offset poster
image copyright © 2013 Mark Vallen
Art for a Change

Vallen's 1985 poster played a historic role in the movement to liberate South Africa from white racist rule. The print was eventually included in The Path of Resistance, an exhibition of contemporary protest art held at New York City's Museum of Modern Art in 2000.

I created this poster in 1985 to support the freedom struggle of the South African people, who were living under a brutally racist white minority regime. Used at anti-apartheid rallies, student occupations of universities, and protests in front of South African embassies all across the US - thousands of these posters were given away, sold, and wheat-pasted on city streets.

In 1985 the administration of Ronald Reagan was openly supporting the apartheid regime in South Africa. Nelson Mandela was in prison and regarded as a 'terrorist' by US policy makers. It's worth noting that US Vice President, Dick Cheney, was in fact at the time opposed to the release of Mandela in the 1980's. However, people all over the world were supporting Mandela's African National Congress (ANC) and the movement for a free and democratic South Africa. I was naturally overjoyed with the eventual liberation of Mandela, the total defeat of the criminal racist regime, and the victory of the South African freedom struggle.
- Artist's statement

Mark Vallen's Free South Africa poster


So Long As Women Are Not Free. . .   (nd)
silkscreen on paper; printed by "See Red" London UK
2013 © collection of Scattergood-Moore


John Lennon: People for Peace   (nd)


Woodie Guthrie Quote   (nd)
silkscreen on paper
from the (now closed) Northland Poster Collective
design by Ricardo Levins Morales
silkscreen on paper
image copyright © 2013 Ricardo Levins Morales
2013 © collection of Scattergood-Moore




fighting discrimination with facts, humor and fake fur
image copyright © 2013 Guerrilla Girls




22" x 17" poster, black in on orange paper
poster design: Virginia J. Mason
2013 © collection of Scattergood-Moore


2nd American Artists Congress poster (1975)
22" x 17" poster, black ink on silver background

Signers of the American Artists' Congress, 1936 and 1941

Archives of American Art: BVAU Papers: 1970-1979


bvua mural
"Artists in Exile" Mural on Boston Commons
image copyright © 2013 Scattergood-Moore






10 designs that rocked the world
   • Viva la revolution!
WWWI Propaganda Posters




Inspiring Political/Humanist Artworks
Inspiring Political/Humanist Artworks
Graphic Witness
   Visual Arts & Social Commentary
I Like It!. . . But Is It Comics?
I Like It!. . . But Is It Comics?
When The Left Held Sway in the US of A
Rene Wanner's Poster Page
  • Links to posters on flickr
  • The Graphic Imperative exhibition in Boston
Feminism and Graphic Design
Free Radicals: See Red (c.1978)


OTHER GRAPHIC ARTISTS:   under development



GRAPHIC WITNESS is a website dedicated to social commentary through graphic imagery by artists working from the turn of the 20th Century to the present, with related bibliographic and biographic data. Comments, corrections and any other contradictions are welcomed. Links to other related sites are provided and frequently updated."




". . . As the survivors of historical traumas pass on, the lasting resonance of their experiences will depend on whether younger generations can understand and recognize them. Such recognition will challenge subsequent generations to discover new connections across historical events and to maintain distinctions among them. To be grounded in individual experience, and to recognize common ground in the historical experience of others. . ." - THE LEGACY PROJECT





© Copyright: The presentation of these low resolution jpg files add more than words alone could impart. It is believed that this is fair use and does not infringe copyright. According to section 107 of the United States Copyright Act of 1976: The fair use of a copyrighted work. . . for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. The images are used for non-profit purposes. This factor is noted as relevant by the Act.











HTML Text Box Generator









Self-immolation of the Buddhist monk
Thich Quang Duc on June 11, 1963
(1897 - 1963)


"War photography tends to come in two forms. The first being shocking images of death and destruction (such as the infamous image of the buddhist monk self-immolating in protest at the war in Burma and the notoriously horrifying shot of the A-bomb detonating at Hiroshima. The second tends towards victory, joy and jingoism such as the infamous kiss between the sailor and the nurse when the end of WW2 was announced or the soldiers raising the flag of triumph at Iwo Jima."

Mariasheherliscmp's Blog




















Helen West Heller woodcut Witchfire 1950
Helen West Heller "Witchfire" (1950) wood-engraving
Copyright © 2013 collection of Scattergood-Moore









image: FDR by Hugo Gellert, lithograph


At a time when Western Europe lay under Nazi domination, Roosevelt presented a vision in which the American ideals of individual liberties were extended throughout the world. Alerting Congress and the nation to the necessity of war, Roosevelt articulated the ideological aims of the conflict. Eloquently, he appealed to Americans` most profound beliefs about freedom.

Powers of Persuasion

We look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression--everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way-- everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want . . . everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear . . . anywhere in the world.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, January 6, 1941

Listen to excerpt of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's message to Congress, 1-6-1941


spinning earth

The President’s Speech: Illustrated by Nineteen Artists
NY: Independent Voters Committee of the Arts and Sciences for Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1944



question Authority





"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."

International Artists' Union



Art is the permanent revolution a film my Manfred Kirshelmer

"The anger and outrage captured by graphic artists and printmakers have defined revolutions through the centuries, depicting the human condition in all its glories and struggles so powerfully that perceptions, attitudes and politics have been dramatically influenced. . ."


  |   links




Portrait of Thich Quang Duc (2006)
C. K. Wilde
Whitey on the moon - The Movie



Philip Nel's Blog: Boston Mix





I survived Christian Science



Copyright © 1994-2014   Scattergood-Moore  -  Pantherpro Webdesign   all rights reserved
updated: 04-21-2014


This website is not supported by an outside institution, donations nor by advertising. It has been created and maintained entirely at my own cost, and is hosted on my own server. Many of the images and books have been purchased to make them available to those people like me who are obsessed with the art of Helen West Heller, as well as artists' sketchbooks. - Scattergood-Moore


patti smith

people have the power - poem by patty smith


PATTI SMITH - democracy now - 04-29-2010


Patti Smith is Dancing Barefoot soundbutton


Copyright Information: The original text documents on this website are the intellectual property of the artist, Scattergood-Moore and the webmaster, PantherProUSA. The copyrighted images and materials are presented under the Fair Use Provision of the Copyright Act and are presented for noncommercial and educational purposes only. Reproduction or distribution of this material, without explicit permission, is unlawful unless you are distributing the text and images for free and without charge. If you use an image for any educational and/or noncommercial purpose, please provide a link to this site and/or mention this site's address: - thank you,   Scattergood-Moore



ISSUU: R B Kitaj - screenprints

Art & Artists: R. B. Kitaj, part 4



My God, help me. to survive this deadly love
Erich Honecker, from East Germany, kissing Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev
Mural from Berlin East Side Gallery"



Cristo si e fermato a Eboli (novel: 1945)
Author: CARLO LEVI (Italian, 1902-1975)

Christ Stopped at Eboli (film: 1979)
Director: Francesco Rosi
starring Gian Maria Volonte and Irene Papas
Score: Piero PICCIONI


Carlo Levi, Autoritrato, 1945, oil painting
Palazzo Lanfranchi
Modern Art Musuem of Basilicata

                        "Many years have gone by, years of war and of what men call History. Buffeted here and there at random I have not been able to return to my peasants as i promised when I left them, and I do not know when, if ever, I can keep my promise. But closed in one room, in a world apart, I am glad to travel in my memory to that other world, hedged in by custom and sorrow, cut off from History and the State, eternally patient, to that land without comport or solace, where the peasant lives out his motionless civilization on barren ground in remote poverty, and in the presence of death." - from the beginning of "Christ Stopped at Eboli"       "Christ did stop at Eboli, where the road and the railway leave the coast and turn into the desolate reaches of Lucania. Christ never came this far, nor did time, nor the individual soul, nor hope, nor the relation of cause and effect, nor reason, nor history. No one has come to this land, except as an enemy, a conqueror or a visitor devoid of understanding. The seasons pass today over the toil of the peasants, just as they did 3,000 years before Christ. To this shadowy land, that knows neither sin nor redemption from sin, where evil is not moral but is only the pain residing forever in earthly things Christ did not come. Christ stopped at Eboli."               The book CHRIST STOPPED at EBOLI by Italian author Carlo Levi and the Italian film based on the book by Francesco Rosi - begins in fascist Italy during 1935.   Levi - a painter trained as a doctor - is exiled to a remote region near Eboli. Over time, he learns to appreciate the beauty and wisdom of the peasants, and to overcome his isolation. . . . .             The story follows the real life anti-fascist intellectual, Carlo Levi, into his forced exile in a small, isolated village in a remote region of Southern Italy. The village is populated by inhabitants who barely survive on the meager harvest of the unyielding land. Eboli, the closest train station, is the last outpost of civilization (such as it is) before entering a world that has changed very little since the Middle Ages. The book and movie expresses all the sense of abandon, neglect, desolation and human despair. According to local tales, "even Christ, in his southward journey, went no further than Eboli. Beyond that point, not even God dared (or could be bothered) to go . . ."       The prologue, when Levi is old and saddened by age and experience, suggests the inevitable association of memory with loss. The final scene of the film is very moving - we see the village receding from view through the rain-flecked back window of a car as if becoming irretrievably lost amongst the detritus of a life. . .                                     Matera - in the region of Basilicata - Italy - "Stepping into the Past"