Courtesy of Library of Congress

Ben Shahn 1898-1969

Lithuanian-born American artist and photographer Ben Shahn was known for the social realism of his art and the left-wing nature of his politics. In 1933, Shahn assisted artist Diego Rivera in the creation of Rivera's controversial left-wing mural, "Man at the Crossroads," at Rockefeller Center in New York. One year later, Shahn joined the Public Works of Art Project, completing murals in public buildings in New York and Washington. During World War II, Shahn created posters for the Office of War Information. In 1956-57, Shahn delivered a lecture series at Harvard University, later published as The Shape of Content, describing his humanistic philosophy of art.