Feb 04, 2021 - Sale 2557

Sale 2557 - Lot 106

Price Realized: $ 4,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 4,500

BEN SHAHN (1898-1969)

Scene in Smithland, Kentucky.
Silver print, the image measuring 161.9x241.3 mm; 6 3/8x9 1/2 inches, the sheet 203.2x254 mm; 8x10 inches, with Shahn's F.S.A. credit hand stamp, another Farm Security Administration hand stamp, the typed title and date, and numeric notation, in pencil, on verso. 1935.

While most of the photographers hired by the FSA were photo-focused, Shahn's background was as a painter and lithographer. During the Great Depression, Shahn was commissioned by the WPA to create murals and worked with the RA to design posters and pamphlets, but he was also hired as a part-time staff photographer for the FSA, due to a recommendation from Walker Evans. (Shahn's entrée to photography was a studio space shared with Evans in 1929.) Shahn traveled across rural America photographing the plight of the communities there and capturing the strength of will of their residents.