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Father Coughlin

by Ben Shahn

Catholic priest Father Charles Coughlin became nationally known in the 1930s as a radio speaker, famous for denouncing organized labor, the New Deal, and Jews.  His opinions were inflammatory and anti-Semitic.  Anti-Semitism is generally described as hatred or hostility toward Jews as a religious, ethnic or racial group. 

Shahn’s painting shows Coughlin as a fanatical speaker, fist raised and head twisted into a pose not unlike Adolf Hitler’s.  Why might Shahn imply a parallel between Coughlin and Hitler?

(Pohl 62, Langa 192).

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Ben Shahn - Father Coughlin

Ben Shahn, Father Coughlin, 1939.  Ink and wash on paper, 15 ½ x 12 in.

Museum Purchase, Derby Fund, from the Philip J. and Suzanne Schiller Collection of American Social Commentary Art 1930-1970

Within Anti-Semitism...
Ben Shahn

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Romare Bearden
George Biddle
Julius T. Bloch
Adolf Dehn
Joseph Delaney
Boris Gorelick
Robert Gwathmey
Joe Jones
Jacob Lawrence
Louis Lozowick
Ben Shahn
George Tooker
James Turnbull

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