View Bibliography

Abelman, Ida. (1910–2002)

Ida Abelman was born and lived in New York City.  She learned lithography at Hunter College, and also to studyied at the Grand Central Art School, the National Academy School of Fine Arts, and the City College of New York.  While a member of the American Artists Congress, she was hired by the Federal Arts Project (FAP) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) for several projects.  Her lithographs often focused on the negative impact of technology on the environment and the quality of human life.  In 1938, her work was included in a nationwide competition at the Federation Art Gallery in New York.

Sources: “Ida Abelman” Pohl 105.


Albright, Ivan. (1897-1983)

Ivan Le Lorraine Albright was born along with his twin, Malvin, in North Harvey, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois.  Each grew to follow in their father’s footsteps and became painters.  The two Albright boys graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago after which they worked out of studios in the greater Chicago area.  His best  known work was created between WWI and WWII with one piece appearing in the MGM production of Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray(1943-44).  He married Josephine Medill Patterson Reeve, a newspaper heiress in 1946. They lived in Chicago until 1963 when they moved to Woodstock, Vermont.  He continued painting until his death creating a series of self-portraits that documented the process of aging in detail.

Source: Stark, David. The American Midwest An Interpretive Encyclopedia, p. 586


Albright, Malvin (Zsissly).  (1897-1983)

Malvin Marr Albright, twin brother of Ivan was born in 1897 in North Harvey, Illinois. He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the University of Illinois, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Beaux Arts Institute of Design in New York City with Albin Polasek, and Charles Grafly. . He began as a painter but later was better known for his sculptures.  He took the professional name of Zsissly.  He died in Warrenville, Illinois. 



Bearden, Romare. (1911–1988)

Romare Howard Bearden was born in Charlotte, North Carolina.  He attended Lincoln University and Boston University before completing his education degree at New York University.  At NYU, he took numerous art courses and began his career as a cartoonist.  Bearden, who drew inspiration from Western, African, and Eastern artists, was a social worker in New York City from the 1930s through the 1960s.  His first solo exhibition took placein the early 1940s in Harlem.  A talented writer and speaker, Bearden helped found the Black Academy of Arts and Letters in 1972.  He is most remembered for his mixed-media collages.  Today, Bearden’s work is included in, among others, the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Sources: “About the Artist” Pohl 105. American National Biography


Benton, Thomas Hart. (1889–1975)

Thomas Hart Benton was born in Neosho, Missouri.  He attended military school before studying at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Académie Julian in Paris.  He returned to New York in 1913 after serving in the navy during World War I.  After the war, he developed his Regionalist style, honoring his Midwestern roots by depicting everyday people in realistic activities.  In 1935 he moved back to Missouri to teach at the Kansas City Art Institute.  He later completed murals in the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City and in the Harry S. Truman presidential library before he died in his studio on January 19, 1975.

Sources: American National Biography "Benton Profile" "Thomas Hart Benton (Painter)" "Thomas Hart Benton"


Biddle, George. (1885–1973)

George Biddle was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1911, Biddle moved to Europe for five years to study art before serving in the army in World War I.  In 1928, Biddle spent time in Mexico with Diego Rivera where he learned the value of government-sponsored art, a concept he later related to an old Harvard friend, Franklin D. Roosevelt.  In 1933, the two friends creating the Federal Arts Project (FAP), which would become the Works Progress (WPA).  Biddle went on to teach at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the Otis Art Institute, and the American Academy in Rome.  He authored seven books, worked as an artist-correspondent for Life magazine, and completed well-known murals in the U.S. Department of Justice Building and the supreme court building in Mexico City

Sources: American National Biography  "George Biddle, David Cook Fine Art" "George Biddle, Fred R. Kline Gallery" Ladis, Andrew


Bloch, Lucienne. (1909–1999)

Lucienne Bloch was born in Geneva, Switzerland, and moved to America with her family in 1917.  From 1924 to 1929, she studied at the Cleveland School of Art and the École National et Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris.  In 1932, Bloch began an apprenticeship with Diego Rivera.  She became lifelong friends and a collaborator with Rivera and his wife, Frida Kahlo, working with both of them on many frescoes and lithographs.  Bloch completed two of her own murals in New York City’s Madison House of Detention for Women and George Washington High School.  She taught at Flint Art Institute from 1941 to 1945, moved to California in 1948, and, with her husband, Stephen Pope Dimitroff, completed seventeen murals in mosaic tile, acrylic, oil, and fresco.

Sources: "Lucienne Bloch Biography" "The Artwork of Lucienne Bloch"


Bloch, Julius T. (1888–1966)

Born in Kehl, Germany, Julius Bloch moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, when he was five. Bloch, with his mother’s encouragement, attended the School of the Pennsylvania Museum and Industrial Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.  As a struggling artist supported by the Public Works of Art Project, Bloch was among the first to focus primarily on portraits of the poor, and especially African Americans.  At a time when artistic representations of African Americans were almost always stereotypical caricatures, Bloch’s thoughtful, highly individualized portraits stood out.  Eleanor Roosevelt selected one to hang in the White House.  Bloch was drafted into the Army during World War I.  He never fully recovered from the horrors he witnessed on the battlefield, and this contributed to the gloomy tone of much of his art.  In 1935, Bloch helped organize the Ntional Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) exhibition. An Art Commentary on Lynching.  Bloch also participated in the Artists for Victory exhibition during the 1940s.  He was a beloved teacher at the Pennsylvania Academy until 1962, and died four years later, at age seventy-eight, in Philadelphia.

Sources: Eisen, Margaret Bloch "Julius Thiengen Bloch" Peters, Greg


Brodsky, Harry. (1908–1997)

Harry Brodsky was born in Newark, New Jersey.  He studied at the Philadelphia College of Art and the University of Pennsylvania.  He quickly became one of the prominent Regionalist painters and lithographers of the 1930s and 1940s while working as an art director for various companies, including TV Guide.  His work won awards at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (1947) and the Philadelphia Print Club (1948).  He died in Philadelphia.

Sources: "Harry Brodsky and G. Ralph Smith" "Harry Brodsky" Pohl 107


Cadmus, Paul. (1904-1999)

Paul Cadmus was born December 17, 1904 in New York City. His father was a commercial lithographer, and his mother illustrated books. At the age of 15, Cadmus left high school and began his art studies at the National Academy of Design (NAD). He studied with Joseph Pennell and William Auerbach-Levy at the NAD.

In 1926, Cadmus found employment as a layout artist in a New York advertising agency. In 1931, the artist left his employment as a commercial artist to travel to Europe with his friend, Jared French. Upon his return the United States in 1933, Cadmus joined the Public Works of Art Program. His 1934 picture The Fleet’s In! generated considerable notoriety in the ranks of the U.S. Navy. The controversial subject matter helped establish Cadmus’s reputation as a social satirist.

Although he had been commissioned by Life magazine to depict a significant event in American History after 1925, the magazine later refused to publish Cadmus’s painting Herrin Massacre due to its graphic portrayal of murdered strikebreakers. The egg tempera painting was characteristic of Cadmus’s sharply focused, meticulously rendered, realist approach.

Besides painting, Cadmus is also well-known as a printmaker and as a superb draftsman. His paintings have been included in many important exhibitions- most notably the American Realists and magic realists exhibition held in 1943 at The Museum of Modern Art.

Cadmus left Manhattan in 1961, relocating his studio to Weston, Connecticut where he died in 1999. Works by Cadmus can be found in major public collections including those of the Whitney Museum of American Art; National Museum of American Art; Smithsonian Institution; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Castellon, Federico. (1914-1971)

Federico Castellon was born in Spain in 1914.  His family moved to Brooklyn when he was a child.  Though the artist’s only formal artistic training was as a high school student in New York, Diego Rivera helped Castellon receive a fellowship to study in Europe, where he came to know other Surrealist works.  Castellon, who taught at many U.S. institutions, became one of the foremost American Surrealists during his lifetime.  He was a member of the National Academy of Design, the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and a recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships. 


Chapin, Francis. (1899–1965)

Francis Chapin was born in Bristolville, Ohio.  He graduated from Washington and Jefferson College in 1921 and was granted an honorary Doctor of Arts by his alma mater in 1954.  Chapin studied at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1921 to 1926 and joined the faculty in 1929. He taught lithography until 1946.  His watercolors and oil paintings were popular and were shown at notable venues, including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.  Chapin’s landscapes are in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Sources: "Francis Chapin, Jane Haslem Gallery" "Francis Chapin, Wikipedia" Raine, Kristy (August 6, 2007)


Curry, John Steuart . (1897-1946)

John Curry was born near Dunavant, Kansas.  He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He worked as an illustrator in New York for a number of years.  In the 1920s he visited Paris and upon his return focused on paintings depicting wistful scenes of Kansas.  Curry became America’s first university artist-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1936.  In this position he was expected to work with rural citizens interested in producing art.  This was a part of the ‘Wisconsin Idea’ an initiative begun by Governor La Follette pronouncing the university and its staff were there to educate all residents of Wisconsin, not just university students.  He remained as artist-in-residence until his death. At the same time he completed a number of murals in the Department of Justice and the Interior in Washington D. C. and the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka.

Source: Koenig, Wendy. The American Midwest An Interpretive Encyclopedia, pp. 586-7


Dehn, Adolf. (1895–1968)

Adolf Dehn was born in Waterville, Minnesota.  He began drawing in childhood, then studied at the Minneapolis School of Art, and later won a scholarship to the Art Students League of New York City.  During the 1920s, he traveled in Europe, especially Paris and Vienna.  Returning to New York during the Great Depression, Dehn supported himself by producing illustration for magazines such as Vogue and the New Yorker.  He also contributed a cartoon to the radical magazine The Masses.  Dehn worked exclusively in black and white until 1937, the same year that he was hired by the Federal Art Project.  While the first half of his career had focused primarily on lithography, after 1937 Dehn also began to paint in watercolor and continued to travel extensively.  In 1961, Dehn was elected to the National Academy of Design.

Sources: "Adolf Dehn" Cox, Richard "Lithographs of Adolf Dehn and Contemporaries" Ness, Eric


Delaney, Joseph. (1904–1991)

Joseph Delaney was born in Knoxville, Tennessee.  He attended Knoxville Colored High School, but left after the ninth grade to work.  From 1922 to 1929, Delaney explored the Midwest, living as a hobo.  In 1930 he moved to New York City where he studied as a member of the Art Students League during the Harlem Renaissance.  Though he was known as a sketch artist and drew portraits for celebrities such as Eartha Kitt and Eleanor Roosevelt, he preferred painting the downtown neighborhoods, city skyline, and everyday scenes of New York.  While employed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), Delaney painted murals throughout the city, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the New York Public Library.  His work also was exhibited in the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago, and major collections are at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the National Academy of Design. Joseph Delaney worked as an artist-in-residence at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, until his death.

Sources: "Delaney Brothers Paint Lower Manhattan" "Joseph Delaney" Welsch, Teresa S


Delano, Jack. (1917-1997)

Delano (Ovcharov, at birth) is recognized for his work documenting the lives of ordinary Americans during the Great Depression and World War II.  As a young child his family moved from Voroshilovka, Russia, where he was born, to Pennsylvania. He attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1932-37). During the Great Depression Delano was hired by the Federal Arts Project (FAP) and the Farm Securities Administration (FSA) to document illegal coal-mining, the lives of struggling Americans and the U.S. war efforts through photographs.  After the war he became a member of the New York Photo League.  He moved to Puerto Rico where he worked for the government television station and independently as a photographer and filmmaker.

Source:  Tucker, Anne Wilkes; Cass, Claire and Daiter, Stephen. This Was the Photo League Compassion and the Camera from the Depression to the Cold War, Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago, 2001. Museum of New Mexico Museum of Fine Arts (9/7/07)


Drewes, Werner. (1899–1985)

Painter-printmaker-photographer Werner Drewes was born in Canig, Germany.  He studied with Paul Klee at the Weimar Bauhaus in 1921 and at the Dessau Bahaus with Wassily Kandinsky and Oskar Schlemmer in 1927.  He moved to the United States in 1930 and became a founding member of American Abstract Artists and exhibited with the Société Anonyme.  Drewes taught printmaking, painting, drawing, and photography at a number of art schools, including the Graphic Division of the New York Federal Art Project from 1940 to 1941.  He continued teaching until his retirement in 1972.

Sources:  Pohl 109-110 "Werner Drewes"


Evergood, Philip. (1901–1973)

Philip Howard Blashki was born in New York City.  In 1909, he moved to England with his family.  His orthodox father renounce his Jewish heritage and l changed his last name to the anglicized form of his mother’s maiden name, Evergood.  He left Cambridge University in 1921 to study art at the Slade School in London.  After graduating in 1923, he moved to New York City to study at the Art Students League with George Luks and learn etching from Philip Reisman and Harry Sternberg.  In 1934, Evergood exhibited at the first of many Whitney Annuals.  Throughout the 1930s, Evergood painted murals for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), served as president of the New York Artists Union, and focused his paintings on Depression-era society.  In the 1940-50s, his paintings began to show lighter, more abstract themes.  Evergood moved to Connecticut in 1952 and died in Bridgeport.

Sources: "Philip Evergood, Mystudios" "Philip Evergood, Oxford Gallery" "Philip Howard Evergood" American National Biograph


Gellert, Hugo. (1892–1985)

Born in Budapest, Hungary, Hugo Gellert moved to the United States in 1906.  He studied art at the Cooper Union and the National Academy of Design.  A conscientious objector with strong Communist sentiments, he drew anti-war cartoons for the political magazine The Masses during World War I and created illustrations for other publications, including the cover of Liberator.  He also served on Liberator’s editorial board from 1918 to 1924.  Gellert’s politically charged lithographs and controversial murals of the 1920s and 1930s drew attention to workers issues, racial tension, and fascism.  Gellert was active in the Artist’s Committee for Action, the Artist’s Union, and Artists for Victory during World War II.  He also published three books.

Sources: "Guide to the Hugo Gellert Papers" James, Wechsler, Peters, Greg.


Gilbert, George. (1922-     )

George Gilbert (born Gelberg) was born in Brooklyn, New York.  He diligently documented life in New York City and was one of the original members of the New York Photo League. During World War II he served in the Air Corps as a cartographer mapping islands in the South Pacific through aerial photography. After the war he worked in advertising, taught history of photography at the University of Western Connecticut, wrote 22 books and continues to be the editor of periodicals.

Source:  Tucker, Anne Wilkes; Cass, Claire and Daiter, Stephen. This Was the Photo League Compassion and the Camera from the Depression to the Cold War, Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago, 2001. Palo Alto Photo Club (9/7/07)


Gorelick, Boris. (1909–1984)

Painter-lithographer-muralist-animator Boris Gorelick was born in southern Russia, immigrating with his parents to the United States when he was four years old.  Gorelick attended the National Academy of Design, the Art Students League, and Columbia University.  He was one of the founders, and for a number of years served as president, of the Artists’ Union, which fought to keep the tradition of American art alive during the Great Depression.  He worked for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) on a lithograph project in 1933 and was one of the original members of the New York lithography workshop.  In 1935, Gorelick went to Phoenix, Arizona to set up a local Federal Art Project (FAP) school of art and design.  He moved to California in 1942 where he did animation work for Playhouse Films and taught art classes at Otis Art Institute.

Source: "Boris Gorelick"


Guy, James. (1909–1983 [AskArt]; 1910–1983 [Pohl 112])

James Guy was born in Middletown, Connecticut, and was a student at the Hartford Art School.  His landscapes and still lifes were featured in several one-man shows, including the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford (1932), the Boyer Gallery in Belleville, Kansas (1939), and the Ferargil Gallery in New York City (1941-44).  He was involved in the Works Progress Administration (WPA) easel project, and, in 1933, he was a founding member of the Unemployed Artists Group.  Guy also became involved in the John Reed Club and taught in its school.  Along with his friend Walter Quirt, Guy employed surrealist techniques in the art of social commentary.  After World War II, Guy’s technique shifted to geometric non-objective art.  Guy taught art at Bennington College, Vermont (1945–46), MacMurray College, Illinois (1946–54), and Wesleyan University, Connecticut (1963–75).

Source: "James Meikle Guy" AskArt; 1910–1983 [Pohl 112])


Gwathmey, Robert. (1903–1988)

Painter Robert Gwathmey was born in Richmond, Virginia.  After enrolling at North Carolina State University and the Maryland Institute of Design, Gwathmey attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1926.  He was a social activist concerned with issues of rural poverty and racial justice.  He was actively involved with the Artists Union and exhibited at the ACA galleries, New York City.  As he traveled between the North and South, Gwathmey noticed the hardships of African Americans and tensions between racial groups, which influenced him to become one of the first white artists to respectfully portray blacks.  During World War II, he was involved in several exhibitions, including the 1944 Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Artists for Victory and the ACA Galleries’ Artists in the War group show.  Gwathmey taught at Beaver College, Pennsylvania, the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, and the Cooper Union School of Art in New York until 1968.  He was elected to the National Academy of Design in 1976.

Sources: American National Biography "Robert Gwathmey: A Retrospective" "Robert Gwathmey" AskArt]; 1910–1983 [Pohl 112])


Hagedorn, Edward. (1902–1982)

A life-long Californian, painter and etcher Edward Hagedorn was born in Oakland and died in San Francisco.  He studied at the California School of Fine Art (now the San Francisco Art Institute) and opened his studio in the San Francisco Bay area in the 1920s.  During the Depression, Hagedorn was supported by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), producing anti-war posters along with his signature etchings and paintings of nudes.  He participated in the 1944 Artists for Victory exhibition.  As a member of the Society of American Etchers, Hagedorn’s work was widely exhibited and collected during his lifetime, and collections are held at museums including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Sources: "Edward Hagedorn, AskArt" "Edward Hagedorn, Gary Spratt Fine Art"


Hirsch, Joseph.(1910–1981)

A Philadelphia native, Joseph Hirsch was educated at the Pennsylvania Museum of Industrial Art from 1928 to 1931, and later studied in New York City with George Luks; he also studied in Paris.  Primarily a painter, Hirsch had his first one man-show at ACA Galleries.  Additionally, he was active in Works Progress Administration (WPA) easel painting project and worked on several Philadelphia murals.  Later in life, he began making lithographs of his paintings.  A Social-Realist, Hirsch was employed by the military during World War II, creating more than seventy images of the war effort in the South Pacific, Italy, and North Africa.  These works belong to the U.S. Army and Navy Art Collections in Washington, DC.  After the war, Hirsch taught at the Chicago Institute of Art, the National Academy of Design, and the Art Students League of New York City.

Sources: "Joseph Hirsch (1910-1981)," "Joseph Hirsch (1910-1981), RoGallery" "Joseph Hirsch (1910-1981), The Art of Joseph Hirsch in the Navy Art Collection"


Hoffman, Irwan. (1901–1989)

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Irwin Hoffman was quickly recognized as a young talent; he was granted special admission to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School at age fifteen and had his first solo show at Grace Horne Galleries, Boston at nineteen.  Highly praised for his portraits, Hoffman was awarded the Paige Traveling Scholarship and studied abroad in France, Italy, Russia, and Holland.  During the 1930s and 1940s, Hoffman traveled through Latin America and began making etchings of miners.  He eventually painted a mural depicting the history of mining, which is on display at the Colorado School of Mines.  During World War II, he worked for the U.S. Navy as an artist correspondent, illustrating the medical training of corpsmen in the South Pacific and Europe.  Hoffman maintained his New York City studio from the early 1930s until his death.

Sources: "Irwin D. Hoffman" "Irwin Hoffman (1901-1989)" Peters, Greg


Huberland, Morris. (1909-2003)

Morris Huberland was born in Warsaw, Poland.  As a young boy he moved to New York City with his family and settled in a Jewish neighborhood.  He was one of the original members of the New York Photo League where he took advantage of educational opportunities to sharpen his skills as a street photographer documenting residents of some of New York’s tougher neighborhoods.  He joined the army during World War II where he participated in combat in Italy, North Africa and Germany. He maintained his interest in photographing New York’s Jewish Immigrants throughout his life. And in 1989 presented some of this work in the exhibition A Time to Remember: Jewish Life on the Lower East Side.

Source:  Tucker, Anne Wilkes; Cass, Claire and Daiter, Stephen. This Was the Photo League Compassion and the Camera from the Depression to the Cold War, Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago, 2001.

<.back to bread line
<.back to kids in alley

Jones, Joe. (1909–1963)

Joseph John Jones was a self-taught painter and printmaker from St. Louis, Missouri.  He began his career as a Social-Realist, painting wheat fields and other scenes of Midwestern life.  In 1934, he volunteered to teach art classes to the unemployed at a courthouse, but was evicted when the class produced propagandistic murals and posters. He later taught summer art school in Missouri with James Turnbull and Thomas Hart Benton.  Jones was harshly criticized for his Communist leanings and left for New York City in 1935.  He created five murals for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), won a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, painted Depression-era images, and worked as a war artist for Life magazine during World War II.  After the war, Jones began to experiment with color silkscreen prints with increasingly abstract subjects.  Jones’s works are held in collections at the Smithsonian Institute, the Toledo Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the White House.

Sources:  Howard, Wooden E "Joe (Joseph John) Jones" "Joe Jones" Peters, Greg

<.back to justice
<.back to peonage

Kent, Rockwell. (1882–1971)

Rockwell Kent was born into a prominent New York family.  From 1900 to 1903 he attended Columbia University on an architecture scholarship, but left after three and a half years to study art at William Merritt Chase’s art school in Shinnecock Hills, Long Island.  After working as an illustrator for The Masses from 1912 to 1916, Kent began the travels that would define him and his work.  An engraver and lithographer as well as a painter, Kent found inspiration during the 1920s and 1930s in the landscapes of Monhegan Island, Maine, Newfoundland, Greenland, Alaska and Tierra del Fuego.  He published illustrated journals of his travels and, in 1955, an autobiography.  During World War II, he made posters and exhibited in both the Artists for Victory and America in the War exhibitions.  After the war, Kent’s popularity began to decline as Abstract Expressionism gained preference over landscapes and his leftist activism caused him to be blacklisted during the Red Scare of the 1950s.  He donated more than eight hundred paintings and watercolors to the Soviet Union in 1960 and left hundreds of others in museums throughout the United States before his death.

Sources: "Distant Shores: the Odyssey of Rockwell Kent" "Rockwell Kent" "Rockwell Kent, AskArt”

<.back to bombs
<.back to heavy
<.back to weep

Lawrence, Jacob. (1917–2000)

Jacob Lawrence was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and moved to Harlem with his mother at age thirteen.  Observing the Harlem Renaissance firsthand, Lawrence studied art and African-American history in community centers and was accepted into the American Artists School and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) easel project.  He became widely known and praised for his series format: devoting thirty to forty paintings to a single African-American historical figure or event, including Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and the northern migration.  He received the National Medal of Arts in 1990, and his works are in numerous museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Museum of Modern Art.

Sources: American National Biography "Jacob Lawrence, African American World" "Jacob Lawrence and Expressions of Freedom" "Jacob Lawrence, The Artchive"

<.back to interior
<.back to street

Leboit, Joseph. (1907–2002 )

Joseph LeBoit, was a painter and printmaker, born in New York City.  He earned a bachelor of arts degree from the City College of New York and studied at the Art Students League. He also studied with Thomas Hart Benton. He created twenty-five prints for the Graphic Arts Division of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Fine Arts Project from 1935 to 1939.  During the 1940s, he served terms as director and corresponding secretary for the Artists Societies for National Defense and Artists for Victory.  For the latter, he directed the America in the War national exhibition, which included some of his work.  He worked as a staff artist at PM magazine. He was a certified psychologist and was cofounder,and executive director of the Advanced Center for Psychotherapy for twenty-five years.  He died in California on June 26, 2002.

Source: Pohl 115


Lozowick, Louis . (1892–1973)

Louis Lozowick was born in Russia and studied at the Kiev Art School before moving to America and attending the National Academy of Design.  He graduated from Ohio State University in 1918, spent a year in the Army Medical Corps, and the next five years traveling Europe.  He began making lithographs in 1923, focusing primarily on geometric forms and structures.  Returning to New York in 1924, Lozowick joined the staff of New Masses and held his first one-man exhibition in 1929.  During the Depression, Lozowick began to depict more people in his prints along with repetitious city images.  He was the secretary to the American Artists’ Congress and held many offices in the Works Progress Administration (WPA) from 1935 to 1940.  Lozowick was inducted into the National Academy of Design in 1972.

Source: Pohl 116


Mauzey, Merritt . (1898–1973)

Lithographer, author, illustrator, and life-long Texan, Merritt Mauzey was a cotton farmer by day who studied art through correspondence courses and night school.  Eventually, he taught himself lithography.  His work first appeared in 1936 in the Texas Centennial Exposition, and, in 1938, he was one of the founding members of the Lone Star Printmakers.  His work primarily focused on scenes of his homeland, and, in 1946, he became the first Texan to receive a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship.  He turned many of his works into children’s books.  His autobiographical memoir was published posthumously in 1979.

Sources: "Merritt Mauzey" "Merritt Mauzey Papers" Weaver, Gordon


McClellan, John W. (1908–1986)

Born in London, John McClellan studied at the Art Students League in New York City, Yale University, the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Académie Julien in Paris.  McClellan began producing lithographs of city scenes and figural studies in the 1930s from his home studio in Woodstock, New York.  Many of these appeared in his one-man exhibitions or the collections of the Whitney Museum, the Smithsonian Museum of Fine Arts, and the Library of Congress.

Sources: "John Ward McClellan" Peters, Greg.


McKinnie Hofmeir, Miriam. (1906–1987)

Miriam McKinnie Hofmeier was one of the few women artists involved with the Federal Art Project (FAP).  Born in Evanston, Illinois, she studied painting and lithography at the Minneapolis School of Fine Art and the Kansas City Art Institute.  For the Works Progress Administration (WPA), she made murals and oil paintings of Midwest scenery for Illinois post offices.  Her work also was shown at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Kansas City Art Institute, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

Sources: "Miriam McKinnie Hofmeier" "Miriam McKinnie"


Meissner, Leo. (1895–1977)

Leo Meissner , who was born in Michigan, enrolled in the Detroit Fine Arts Academy at the age of fifteen and later won a scholarship to the Art Students League of New York.  Though talented in oils and pastels, Meissner was renowned for his engravings in wood and linoleum.  Although he depicted scenes of Manhattan life in the 1920s and 1930s, the shores of Maine’s Monhegan Island were his favorite subject, and he returned there every summer for almost fifty years.  Meissner exhibited at more than sixty one-man shows in his career and, established the Leo J. Meissner printmaking award for the National Academy of Design.  His works are held in many collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, and University of Maine Museum of Art.

Sources: "Leo Meissner, Harco Gallery American Art" "Leo Meissner, International Fine Print Dealers Association" "Meissner, Leo"


Olds, Elizabeth. (1897–1991)

Elizabeth Olds was born in Minneapolis and studied at the Minneapolis School of Art and the Art Students League of New York.  In 1927, she became the first woman to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship, which supported travel and study in Europe during 1931.  The following year, she began making lithographs and working for the Public Works of Art Project in Omaha, Nebraska before returning to New York City to work for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Graphic Arts Division.  She was part of the Federal Art Project from 1936 to 1940 and was one of seven artists who developed a silkscreen process.  Olds often depicted scenes of industry, particularly mining and steel production.  During the 1940s and 1950s, she wrote and illustrated six children’s books.  She continued to work and travel until the end of her life.

Source: Pohl 118


Perlin, Bernard.(1918– )

Born in Richmond, Virginia, Perlin moved to New York City in 1934 to begin studying at the New York School of Design, the National Academy of Design, and the Art Students League.  After traveling to Poland on a fellowship in 1939, Perlin was hired by the Treasury Relief Art Program to paint a mural in a New Jersey post office in 1939.  In the early 1940s, Perlin collaborated with artist Ben Shahn in Washington, DC, where Perlin learned the tempera technique.  After the war, Perlin taught at the Brooklyn Museum Art School.  He has received numerous honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, and currently lives in Connecticut.

Sources: “Bernard Perlin” Pohl 118.


Pierce, Elijah. (1892-1984)

Elijah Pierce hailed from rural Mississippi, but he lived much of his life in Columbus.  From the 1920s to the 1950s, Pierce worked as a barber (his trained profession), and he also preached, using his simple, yet powerful and colorful carvings to help communicate his message.  Eventually Pierce set up his barbershop on Long Street, only a few blocks away from the Columbus Museum of Art.  His carvings were discovered by the art world in the 1970s; as a result, Pierce began carving again for his new audience, incorporating popular culture and other themes into his work, until his death in 1984.


Quirt, Walter. (1902–1968)

Walter Quirt was born in Iron River, Michigan.  In 1921, he began studying drawing and composition at the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee where he became a drawing teacher in 1924.  After moving to New York City in 1929, Quirt began painting with oils, leading to his first solo show in 1936.  Quirt painted in what he described as a “Social-Surrealist” style, incorporating allusions to contemporary political events into the dreamy abstraction of Surrealism.  A member of the American Communist Party, Quirt was especially interested in art’s power to help the working class.  From 1935 to 1941, Quirt also participated in the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Art Project.  Quirt returned to teaching in 1945 and joined the faculty of the art department of the University of Minneapolis in 1947.  The Minneapolis Institute of Arts mounted a retrospective exhibition of his work in 1959.

Sources: “Walter Quirt” Pohl 119


Refregier, Anton. (1905–1979)

Born in Moscow, Anton Refregier left Russia when he was fifteen to study sculpture in Paris and immigratied to the United States later that year.  The following year, he entered the Rhode Island School of Design, where he trained as an artist until 1925.  In 1934, Refregier began working with the Federal Arts Project (FAP), alternating between teaching and supervising the art and mural projects.  Notably, he was selected in 1941 to design a twenty-seven-panel mural in the Rincon Annex Post Office in San Francisco – at $26,000, the mural was the most expensive public commission of the time.  The work became notorious because of Refregier’s inclusion of several controversial scenes from California history.  Before his death, Refregier returned to his native Moscow.

Sources: “Anton Refregier” Pohl 119.


Reisman, Philip. (1904–1992)

Philip Reisman moved from Warsaw, Poland, to New York City with his family in 1916.  He studied at the Art Students League in the 1920s and 1930s, supporting himself through odd jobs.  Reisman’s empathetic painting style was influenced by the Ashcan School, as well as his active participation in the John Reed Club, the Artists Union, and the American Artists’ Congress.  Through the 1940s and 1950s, Reisman painted murals and published numerous illustrations.  Later in life, he taught at the American Artists’ School and the Educational Alliance.  He earned several honors, including a 1979 special exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York and a 1982 induction into the National Academy of Design.

Soures: Pohl 119-20 "Red Wall II"


Roberts, Priscilla. (1916-2001)

Priscilla Roberts was born in 1916 in New Jersey.  She attended Radcliffe College and Yale University for a short time, as well as the Art Students League, before studying at the National Academy of Design.  Roberts is considered a Magic Realist, one of a group of artists known for created fantastical or fanciful scenes utilizing a realist style.  Roberts almost always painted still lifes, utilizing such a careful and precise working method that she only completed one to two paintings a year.  Roberts died in Connecticut in 2001.


Robbins, David. (1912-1981)

Robbins is another American photographer who worked for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s. Much of his work was created as he partnered with photographer Arnold Eagle.  Their series One-Third of A Nation documents the conditions of the east side of New York City during the Great Depression. [New Deal Network (9/7/07)

He was a member of and worked as an instructor for the Photo League.

Source:  Tucker, Anne Wilkes; Cass, Claire and Daiter, Stephen. This Was the Photo League Compassion and the Camera from the Depression to the Cold War, Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago, 2001.


Shahn, Ben. (18981969)

Ben Shahn, born in Lithuania in 1898, moved with his family to Brooklyn, New York, in 1906.  He began learning commercial lithography when he was thirteen and studied at the Educational Alliance at night.  In 1919, he began taking day classes at New York University and later transferred to the Art Students League.  He traveled throughout Europe during the 1920s before returning to New York in 1929 to learn photography from Walker Evans.  He later worked as a photographer for the Farm Security Administration from 1935 to 1938.  Until World War II, his paintings also had elements of photography, especially in his attention to detail.  After the war, his style became more linear.  Shahn was featured in numerous one-man shows at major museums until his death.

Sources: Biographies Plus Illustrated], “Ben Shahn” Biographies Plus Illustrated,  Pohl 121.

<.back to Caughlin
<.back to Discord

Siskind, Aaron. (1903-1991)

Aaron Siskind was born in New York City.  He went to City College and worked as an English instructor in the NYC public schools from 1926-49. At the same time he began taking photos after he was given a gift of a camera on his honeymoon in 1929. He joined the New York Workers Film and Photo League in 1932. It was renamed the New York Photo League in 1936 and Siskind maintained his membership until 1941.  He taught photography at Trenton College in New Jersey, Black Mountain College in North Carolina, the Institute of Design in Chicago, Illinois and the Rhode Island School of Design. Eventually his focus was on documentaries with images that are somewhat abstract in design. 

Source: Jasud, Lawrence.  The American Midwest An Interpretive Encyclopedia, pp. 595-6


Soyer, Moses (née Schoar). (1899–1974)

Moses Soyer, Raphael Soyer’s twin brother, moved from Borisoglebsk, Russia, to the United States with his family in 1912, ultimately settling in New York City.  Soyer studied with his brothers at the National Academy of Design, the Educational Alliance, and with George Bellows and Robert Henri at the Ferrer Art Club, where he was influenced by the radical Ashcan School.  In 1926, he was awarded a scholarship to study in Europe; he remained for two years before returning to New York to teach in 1928.  During the 1930s, Soyer painted public works commissioned by the Works Progress Administration (WPA).  In the 1960s, Soyer focused on figure painting and entered the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1966.

Sources: “Moses Soyer” Pohl 122.


Soyer, Raphael (né Schoar). (1899–1987)

Raphael Soyer, Moses Soyer’s twin brother, moved from Borisoglebsk, Russia, to New York City with his parents and two brothers in 1912. Raphael studied and developed his Social Realism style at the Cooper Union from 1914 to 1917, the National Academy of Design from 1918 to 1922, and at the Art Students League.  His paintings focused on the bleak economic and social realities of his time, often using women as subjects.  In the 1950s, Soyer edited the art magazine Reality and wrote several books.  The Whitney Museum of American Art displayed a retrospective of his work in 1967, and he taught at the Art Students League and the National Academy of Design later in his life.

Sources: “Raphael Soyer, RoGallery” “Raphael Soyer, E-Fine Art


Sternberg, Harry. (1904–2001)

Harry Sternberg was born in New York City.  He studied at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Art Students League, where Harry Wickey tutored him in printmaking from 1927 to 1929.  Sternberg’s first solo show came in 1932 at the Weyhe Gallery, and the following year, he replaced Wickey as the Art Students League’s graphic arts instructor.  Later in the 1930s, he completed three post office murals in Pennsylvania and Chicago.  He taught at the Art Students League and exhibited throughout the 1940s and 1950s, eventually moving to California in 1959 to direct the art department at the Idyllwild School of Music and Art.  Sternberg continued teaching and exhibiting until his death on November 27, 2001.

Sources: “A Tribute to Harry Sternberg” Pohl 122


Taylor, Prentiss. (1907–1991)

Prentiss Taylor was born in Washington, DC.  With the exception of years spent studying at the Art Students League of New York and the studies completed in Charleston, South Carolina, during 1933, Taylor lived most of his life in Washington, DC.  His sketches from Charleston, mostly of dilapidated buildings, were later turned into lithographs for the Works Progress Administration (WPA).  Also in the 1930s, Taylor collaborated with Langston Hughes to illustrate two books of Hughes’s poems dealing with racism in America.

Source: “Prentiss (Hottel) Taylor” Langa 150


Tooker, George. (1920– )

George Tooker was born in Brooklyn, New York.  After graduating from Harvard University in 1942, Tooker served in the Marines for a year, then joined the Art Students League, where he studied with Reginald Marsh, Kenneth Hayes Miller, and Paul Cadmus.  Heavily influenced by Cadmus, Tooker became part of the Magic Realist circle of artists.  At age thirty-one, Tooker’s first one-man show was held at the Edwin Hewitt Gallery in New York City.  His one-man shows and exhibitions at major museums and galleries continued throughout the 1950s and 1960s.  From 1955 to 1958, Tooker taught painting at the Art Students League, and in 1974 the San Francisco Palace of the Legion of Honor organized a retrospective of his work.  He currently lives in Vermont.

Source: Pohl 122


Turnbull, James.(1909-1976)

Turnbull, who was born in St. Louis, studied at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. The artist prepared murals for the Missouri Post Office in Fredericktown and Jackson while participating in the WPA. As an Abbott Laboratories wartime artist-correspondent, Turnbull painted the activities of the U.S. Amphibious Forces in the Philippines. His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum, the Springfield Museum, University of Arizona, the Phillips Memorial Gallery, the Louisiana Marine Hospital, and others. Turnbull died in Woodstock, New York, in 1976.

Sources: “James Barre Turnbull” Naval Historical Center

“James Baare Turnbull.” Art of Naval Amphibious Operations from WWII. Naval Historical Center. Art Collection Branch. 10 Sept. 2004

<.back to terror
<.back to night

Van Veen, Stuyvesant. (1910–1988)

Stuyvesant Van Veen was born in New York City.  He studied art at numerous institutions, including the National Academy of Design, the Art Students League, and Columbia University.  Van Veen was active as a muralist, satirist, and illustrator throughout the 1930s.  Van Veen’s 1937 mural for a Pittsburgh post office drew sharp criticism from treasury officials for his inclusion of Marxist images, but he refused to alter his principles in his revised design.  From 1946 to 1949, Van Veen taught at the Cincinnati Academy of Art, and in 1953 he entered the Art Department of the City College of New York.

Sources: “Deceased Members” Pohl 122-3


Ward, Lynd. (1905–1985)

Lynd Ward, the son of a Methodist minister, was born in Chicago.  After studying at Columbia University, he traveled to Germany where he studied with the graphic artist Hans Alexander Mueller in Leipzig.  In 1927, Ward returned to the United States. He launched his career in book illustration in 1929 with God’s Man, a novel told entirely through 139 black and white wood engravings. During his lifetime, he published six novels without words. These novels vividly demonstrated his deep political and social concern. He headed the graphics-art division of the Federal Writers Project in New York City from 1937 to 1939.   He continued woodcutting, illustrating, and lithography, as well as authoring children’s books and articles throughout his life.  He won a Caldecott Medal in 1953 for his children’s book. The Biggest Bear, which he both authored and illustrated. He also illustrated numerous children’s books written by his wife, Mary McNneer.

Sources: “Ward, Lynd” Pohl 123, Friebert 19-21, Walker 1-5