October 19: Fannie Hurst

Bestselling novelist and short story writer Fannie Hurst — known to later generations primarily through film adaptations of her fiction (notably Imitation of Life and Young at Heart), was born in Hamilton, Ohio on this date in 1885. Hurst wrote on social themes of sexism and women’s rights, racism and racial justice, and economic opportunity, […]

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November 4: Raphael Soyer’s Canvases

The leftwing painter Raphael Soyer, the best-known of three artist brothers (including his twin Moses and Isaac), died at 87 on this date in 1987. Soyer was admired for his realistic street scenes and his intimate paintings of people in face-to-face circumstances or states of introspection during the Great Depression. He was also known  for […]

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March 14: Ben Shahn

Political artist Ben Shahn, who became a stand-out among the artists of the WPA and other federal agencies during the Great Depression and represented the U.S. (with Willem de Kooning) at the 1954 Venice Biennale, died at 70 on this date in 1969. Shahn studied lithography and graphic design in New York before touring the […]

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