Art & Social Issues in American Culture
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Cold War

Study for Goyescas

by Ben Shahn

Shahn displays a figure dressed in military costume with arms overhead playing the children’s game of Cat’s Cradle.  Below he has another set of arms that are folded together and are surrounded by figures of people who look as if they are dead or dying. 

Shahn was making a political statement about the hypocrisy of politicians and military leaders who publicly act concerned, while privately ignoring the distress caused by their official actions.




Learn more about this artist:

Artist Biography

Lesson Plans

Werner Drews, Distorted Swastika
Ben Shan, Study for Goyescas, 1956. Watercolor on paper, 25 ½ x 30 in. 

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

Within Cold War...

Rockwell Kent

Anton Refregier

Ben Shahn

WWI The Rise of Fascism Spanish Civil War
WWII Cold War Vietnam War
Werner Drews
James Guy
Edward Hagedorn
Rockwell Kent
Joseph Leboit
John McClellan
Miriam McKinnie Hofmeier
Leo Meissner
Bernard Perlin
Anton Refreiger
Philip Reisman
David Robbins
Ben Shahn
Harry Sternberg
Stuyvesant Van Veen


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