[Marxism] On Ben Shahn

Michael Hoover mhhoover at gmail.com
Mon Dec 18 15:35:41 MST 2006

On 12/17/06, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:
> http://www.columbia.edu/~lnp3/mydocs/culture/shahn.htm
The most dramatic expression of Shahn's isolation was his reception at
Black Mountain College, over a four week visit to the college in the
summer of 1951. He was to teach an art class upon the invitation of
Charles Olson, the president of the college. Although Olson had
fostered modernist experimentation at the school, he still had strong
attachments to the New Deal politics of his pre-writing days. Olson
had been a high official in FDR's administration, before obsessions
with Moby Dick had convinced him that his true vocation was poetry.

Olson's study of Melville and Moby Dick date to his 1930s graduate
school days, he published on MD when he was at Harvard.

Not sure that Assistant Director of the Foriegn Language Department of
the Office of Wartime Information (OWI) makes for a "high official."

Olson/Shahn relationship dated to the former's time at the OWI during
WW2 when the pair wrote a brief article together.   Michael Hoover

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