social realist painter
Ben Shahn was one of the foremost Social Realist artists of the 1930s. Shahn was born in 1898 in Kovno, Lithuania, the first of five children of a traditional Orthodox Jewish family. His father was a woodcarver and cabinetmaker. As Eastern European Jews during the period, they faced discrimination and violence everywhere they turned. When the Russian Revolution of 1917 declared war on all forms of anti-Semitism, Jews instinctively turned toward the new government.