Ben Shahn (1898 – 1969) posters made for the Political Action Committee have seen their own turmoil: tears, crease marks, and degradation from acid in the pulp-based paper. We are working to restore these powerful and still relevant posters, and have them in a condition that is sturdy enough to present in the classroom, where they are destined.
Born in Lithuania, Shahn’s father was excited to Siberia in 1902 due to ties with possible revolutionary activities. The family would reunite four years later in the United States, after Shahn’s father had fled his exile. They settled in Brooklyn where Shahn attended high school by night, and by day apprenticed at a lithographer; he would go on to attend New York University and the National Academy of Design in New York. His work is known for its combination of realism and abstraction to address various social and political causes, and is included in in many prestigious public and private collections such as the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.