Harry Sternberg, American, 1904 - 2001. Enough!, 1947. Aquatint and etching on paper, 17 3/16 x 13 1/8 in., Collection of the University of Michigan Museum of Art. Gift of the Marvin Felheim Collection, 1983/1.222.

The Power of Print

June 18, 2022 - August 21, 2022

Graphics Gallery

In the early 20th century, between the two world wars, a group of artists in the United States used printmaking to shed light on the major issues that faced the country, such as staggering levels of unemployment, economic instability, and poverty. This group, including such names as Adolf Dehn, Blanche Grambs, Harry Gottlieb, Harry Sternberg, and William Gropper were known as Social Realist artists since they used art to not only express their point of view but also as an instrument to bring about social change. Printmaking was an influential tool as it was more affordable and accessible than other forms of art—both for artists to create and for people to purchase. The Power of Print will feature works from Social Realist artists that address the major concerns of the early 20th century, many of which are still relevant today, including working conditions, fascism, racism, and women’s roles.

From the Exhibition

  • Harry Gottlieb, American, born Romania, 1895 - 1992. The Strike is Won, 1940. Silkscreen on paper, 18 × 23 in. Gift of Mr. Jack B. Pierson in memory of Mr. Robert Martin Purcell 1981.98

  • Hugo Gellert, American, born Hungary, 1892 - 1985. Curse of the Modern World, 1943. Silkscreen on paper, 20 × 16 in. Gift of Mr. Jack B. Pierson 1986.107

  • Jacob Burck, American, born Poland, 1907 - 1982. The Lord Provides, 1934. Lithograph on paper, 15 3/4 × 11 3/8 in. Gift of Mr. Jack B. Pierson in memory of Mr. Robert Martin Purcell 1981.99

  • Philip Evergood, American, 1901 - 1973. City Lights, 1940. Lithograph on paper, 12 15/16 × 15 9/16 in. Purchased through the Collectors of Modern Art 1941.10