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The Year of Peril: A Series of War Paintings

Object | Accession Number: 2015.609.13

Catalog owned by Harold Lehman featuring reproductions of Thomas Hart Benton’s series of ten anti-fascist paintings created after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The images show what could happen if America were to be attacked in the Midwest. Benton originally created these pieces to strengthen American patriotism and warn Americans of the dangers of isolationism. The catalog was widely distributed and part of a massive anti-fascist propaganda publicity campaign that utilized the images. Thomas Hart Benton was an artist born in Neosho, Missouri. He produced paintings, lithographs, and murals and contributed to the Regionalist Movement which captured rural American life during the 1920s. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, America was faced with an impending war. Benton, along with many other artists of the time, chose to use their work to make political statements. 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. Like Thomas Hart Benton, Lehman worked with the Treasury department and Abbott Laboratories to create, pro-American propaganda, and anti-fascist pieces.

creation:  1942
publication: Chicago (Ill.)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Lisa Lehman Trager
Record last modified: 2021-05-06 11:44:50
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