The People’s Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art
Cynthia Levinson, Evan Turk
A lyrically told, exquisitely illustrated biography of influential Jewish artist and activist Ben Shahn
“The first thing I can remember,” Ben said, “I drew.”
As an observant child growing up in Lithuania, Ben Shahn yearns to draw
everything he sees-and, after seeing his father banished by the Czar
for demanding workers’ rights, he develops a keen sense of justice, too.
So when Ben and the rest of his family make their way to America, Ben
brings both his sharp artistic eye and his desire to fight for what’s
right. As he grows, he speaks for justice through his art-by disarming
classmates who bully him because he’s Jewish, by defying his teachers’
insistence that he paint beautiful landscapes rather than true stories,
by urging the US government to pass Depression-era laws to help people
find food and jobs.
In this moving and timely portrait,
award-winning author Cynthia Levinson and illustrator Evan Turk honor an
artist, immigrant, and activist whose work still resonates today: a
true painter for the people.
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