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Art and Activism in the Twentieth Century:Selections from the Permanent Collection

January 24 - April 12, 2009

Opening Reception: Saturday, January 24, 5-7 PM

  • Ben Shahn
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  • Kara Walker
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  • Hung Liu
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  • Wright Morris
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  • Robbie Conal
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  • Patrick Nagatani
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  • Robert Rauschenberg
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  • Rockwell Kent
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  • Charles White
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  • June Wayne
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  • Enrique Chagoya
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  • Fritz Scholder
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  • Sandow Birk
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  • Kim Abeles

Many American artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have made their art work an integral part of their political activism. Some have created posters for specific campaigns, such as the election of political candidates or fund raising for civil rights organizations. Others have produced prints or paintings that speak to broader social or political issues, such as the pollution of the environment, the exploitation of agricultural and industrial workers, and racial intolerance. The images are sometimes direct and hard hitting, sometimes poetic and introspective. This exhibition contains a sampling of such works from the late 1920s to the present drawn primarily from the permanent collection of the Pomona College Museum of Art.

Curated by Frances Pohl, Dr. Mary Ann Vanderzyl Reynolds ’56 Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Art History, with the assistance of Rochelle LeGrandsawyer ('08), in conjunction with the art history seminar “Art and Activism.”