Ben Shahn  (American, 1898-1969) 

Want to know more about Ben Shahn? Read a detailed biography on the artist’s homepage

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Ben Shahn Biography
1898   Born in Kovno (Kaunus), Lithuania
1906   Emigrated with his family to New York in 1906
1913   Served as an apprentice to a lithographer
1917 - 1921   Studied art at New York University, City College of New York and the National Academy of Design
1922   Married Tillie Goldstein
1925 - 1929   Traveled several times to Europe and North Africa with his wife
1929   Birth of daughter Judith
1930   First solo exhibition at The Downtown Gallery in New York. A work is also exhibited at New York’s Museum of Modern Art
1930   His reputation as a leading artist in the social realist movement is cemented
1931   Shared a studio with photographer Walker Evans in New York
1931 - 1933   Painted his most famous series of works: “The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti,” followed by “The Mooney Series”
1933   Worked with muralist Diego Rivera for a mural at Rockefeller Center in New York
1933   Birth of son Ezra
1935   After divorcing Tillie, remarried to Bernarda Bryson
1936   Birth of daughter Susanna by Bernarda
1937   Moved to Jersey Homesteads (Roosevelt), New Jersey
1933 - 1938   Worked as a photographer for the Farm Security Administration, recording images of Depression era America
1938   Birth of son Jonathan
1937 - 1943   Created several public murals, including one for the Bronx Courthouse, New York
1947   Retrospective exhibition is shown at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
1954   With Willem de Kooning, chosen to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale
1956 - 1957   Served as the Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University. His Norton Lectures are published by Harvard as “The Shape of Content”
1969   Died in New York, NY
Selected Exhibitions
2007   American Modernism, The de Yound Museum, San Francisco, CA
2007   For the People, The Frances Lehmen Loeb Art Center, Pougheepsie, NY
2006   Starting at Zero - Black Mountain College 1933-57, Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire (England)
2005   The Bitter Years, Bob Rauschenberg Gallery, Ft. Myers, FL
2004   American Expressionism - Art and Social Change, 1920s-1950s, Mary and Leigh Blcok Museum of Art, Evanston, IL
2003   New York - Capitale de la photographie (1900-2000), Musee de l'Elysee, Lausanne
2002   New York: Capital of Photography, MMoCA - THe Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison, WI
2001   Greed and Other Recent Acquisitions, ICP - International Center of Photography, New York City, NY
2000   Propaganda and dreams - photography of the 1930s in the USSR and the USA, The State Russian Museum - Mikhailovsky Castle, St. Petersburg
1999   Propaganda and dreams - Photographing the 1930s in the USSR and the US, ICP - International Center of Photorgraphy, New York City, NY
1998   The Posters American Style, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL