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[BKARTS] artist's biographies



Another very good book is Selden Rodman's 'Portrait of the Artist as an
American', the biography of Ben Shahn. Not only is this a well written,
fascinating book but it is filled with wonderful sketches and family photos
which are not grouped the usual way but scattered about the book where they
are actually mentioned. It is also unusual in that it begins in the present,
"Early in the evening of a bleak November day in 1949 we sat by the open
fire in the big studio behind Ben Shahn's bungalow in Roosevelt, New
Jersey." and works backwards through his life to the closing line, "He was
born in Kovno the morning of September 12, 1898." There are few books that I
have read a second time but this one is so interesting for the period of
time and the people it covers that I have gone back and re-read it several
times over the years, each time finding something new and interesting. It is
also the kind of book that makes you want to go off, as I did, and see some
of places mentioned like the mural he did in the school in Roosevelt, NJ.

 

R.Lewis


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