Ben Shahn (American, b. Lithuania, 1898-1969)
New York, 1947
- Tempera on paper mounted on canvas and panel
- 36 x 48 in. (91.4 x 121.9 cm)
- The Jewish Museum, New York
- Purchase: Oscar and Regina Gruss Charitable and Educational Foundation Fund, 1996-23
- Art © Estate of Ben Shahn/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Not on view
Encourage students to examine New York carefully:
- What are some of the images you see in this painting? How are the images composed, or combined together? Does anything surprise you about the composition? Why do you think an artist would combine elements in this way?
- How do you think the different parts of the picture fit together? How does the artist connect the different parts of the painting through his use of line, color, and shape?
- What do you think this scene would sound like? What would it smell like?
FOR FURTHER DISCUSSION:
After giving students ample opportunity to examine New York, explain that the painting was inspired by the artist’s memories from his own childhood in Lithuania and by photographs he took of the Lower East Side. Lead students in a discussion of related topics and themes:
- What does the painting show you about the artist’s memories? What aspects of the neighborhood does he include? What do they suggest to you?
- What would you choose to include in a picture of your neighborhood?
RESEARCH TOPICS / CONTENT CONNECTIONS
- The Lower East Side
- Immigrant Communities and Neighborhoods
- Memory and Experience