Frances K. Pohl, Reynolds '56 Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Art History, Pomona College, "The Visual Politics of Labor: Ben Shahn and the Congress of Industrial Organizations, 1937–1947"

Tue Oct 10, 2017, 5:00PM - 6:30PM

Annenberg Auditorium

1991 079 002 C V0001Ben Shahn, American, 1898–1969, For All These Rights We've Just Begun to Fight, 1946, color offset lithograph, 29 x 38.5 inches. Gift of Beatrice Riese, 1991.079.002.c

The American artist Ben Shahn created graphic art for the newly formed Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) from 1937 to 1947, including posters for the Steelworkers Organizing Committee in the late 1930s and for the CIO's Political Action Committee (CIO-PAC) during the presidential and congressional campaigns of 1944 and 1946. This talk will explore the nature of these images and the challenges Shahn faced in representing the concerns of labor during a decade of increased labor activism, world war, and postwar political retrenchment.

Professor Pohl has published books and articles on Ben Shahn. Her textbook Framing America, A Social History of American Art (2002, 2008) integrates her continental approach to the study of art in the United States.

This lecture is sponsored by the Higgins Labor Program and co-sponsored by the Snite Museum of Art and the departments of American Studies and History.

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