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Painting of a Civil Defense Worker turning a pipe valve

Object | Accession Number: 2015.609.1

Painting on board by Harold Lehman featuring a Civil Defense worker turning a valve on a large L shaped pipe. In the prelude to American involvement in World War II, the public feared attacks on populated areas, similar to those that were taking place in Europe. On May 20, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt set up the Office of Civilian Defense (OCD) to coordinate state and federal measures to protect civilians in a war-related emergency. Trained volunteers displayed their insignia on arm bands and uniforms or civilian dress. An award winning painter, muralist and sculptor, Harold Lehman was known for making political statements with his artwork. He was born and raised in New York City, but moved to Los Angeles as a teenager, attending the Otis Art Institute. While in L.A. he worked with Phil Guston, Jackson Pollock, D.A. Siqueiros, and Manuel Tolegain. In 1941 Harold moved back to New York and continued his career, working with the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) and the Federal Art Project, both New Deal programs to employ artists. He also worked with the Treasury department and Abbott Laboratories to create War Bond advertisements, pro-American propaganda, and anti-fascist pieces.

creation:  1941 May
creation: New York (N.Y.)
Object Type
Painting (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Lisa Lehman Trager
Record last modified: 2021-03-08 16:25:42
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