Ben Shahn (Lithuanian and American, 1898–1969) led a multifaceted career as painter, draftsman, photographer, printmaker and designer. Born in Lithuania, he immigrated as a child with his family to New York and studied at the National Academy of Design and New York University. His early experiences as an apprentice at his uncle’s lithography shop helped shape a continuing artistic relationship with the medium.
Shahn is known for expressive figurative paintings, murals, and posters. Shahn utilized his art as a tool for activism and often highlighted social and political issues of the early twentieth century. He is best known for his works of social realism, his left-wing political views, and his series of lectures published as "The Shape of Content." His vitae included assisting Diego Rivera in 1933 for the mural "Man at the Crossroads" fresco at Rockefeller Center.
Shahn died March 14, 1969 in New York.