A panel discussion of the cultural and political terrain that provided the context for the work of Ben Shahn and his contemporaries in the 1930s. While artists and intellectuals in general moved to the left in that era, they did not occupy a single political position, nor did their politics predict their formal artistic practices. The panelists will consider these issues as they examine what it meant to be an artist on the left in the 1930s. Moderated by Thomas Bender, New York University. Michael Denning, Professor of American Studies, Yale University “The Laboring of American Culture in New York;” Helen Shannon, Independent Scholar and Curator “Uptown–Downtown: African-American Artists and Politics in New York in the 1930s;” Michael Kammen, Professor of American History and Culture, Cornell University; “The Documentation of Life and Visual Expressions of Protest: Some Cultural Complexities of the 1930s”
Cosponsored by the Project on Cities and Urban Knowledges, International Center for Advanced Studies, New York University.