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Stephen Kroninger
Ben Shahn's New York
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DEMONSTRATION, 1933
These are from a book called "Ben Shahn's New York: The Photography of Modern Times" published by Harvard University. It's currently out of print but copies can be found here. I'll let Harvard do the talking: "Ben Shahn, renowned painter, muralist, and graphic artist, was also a talented photographer who made documentary street photographs in New York City in the early 1930s. This book is the first to focus on his compelling New York images, showing how he used a camera to comment on many social issues of his day.

As a political activist Shahn became interested in newspaper photography as a source material for some of his paintings and satires. Soon he was engaged in street photography himself, documenting the working-class and immigrant populations and providing a poignant record of unemployment and poverty during the Depression years. The book considers the immediate social history of Shahn's New York photographs and analyzes how his leftist politics and his interest in news photographs and film affected his photographic aesthetic, The authors assert the importance of analyzing Shahn's paintings and his photographs together, explaining why the connections between the two have been ignored until now. The book reproduces not only Shahn's New York photographs but also his related paintings, prints, and drawings, and an appendix presents documents that speak to the pervasive impact of his photographic work."

 Here are some examples of Shahn using  photos clipped from the newspaper as source material for his art.
VILLAGE SPEAKEASY, CLOSED FOR VIOLATION, 1933-34
Riker's Island Penitentiary Mural study, panel for east wall, 1934-35


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