I lived too far away to spend much lap-time with Dougie, so I wrote him these letters.
An Art Museum is a place that has lots of paintings on the walls for people to look at. An Art Gallery is a shop that has lots of paintings on the walls for people to buy. A museum may have only one or two paintings by the same artist. An Art Gallery usually has many paintings by the same artist.
Here is a Ben Shahn Gallery I put together for you
Ben Shahn drew pictures, painted pictures, made posters, magazine covers, book covers, and pictures for ads in magazines. The pictures in this gallery are some of his drawings
The policeman in this pictures looks like he is singing! I like the way Ben Shahn draws hands. Do you?
Ben Shahn painted pictures and drew portraits of many famous people. This is a portrait of the scientist Robert Oppenheimer. He helped invent the Atomic Bomb, a weapon that ended World War II. Although it saved very many lives, it alo killed very many people. What a sad thing it all was. Do you see the troubled look Ben Shahn gave him? Did you notice the hands?
Ben Shahn drew this picture of a famous doctor who studied people’s minds. His name was Sigmund Freud. He was interested in how people think. Doctor Freud found many troubling things wrong with people.
Does he look sad or happy to you?
Look at how Ben Shahn drew his nose. It’s like a fat carrot again, but this time it looks real. That thin line in the middle of the nose seems important, doesn’t it?
Winfred Owens was an English poet. Remember Ben Shahn’s drawing of the boy with the ice cream cone? Part of his head was missing. In this drawing Ben Shahn drew only part of Winfred Owen’s face. He has no ear. When you look at someone talking to you, do you look at their ears? I don’t.
Hand Holding a Pill
Here is a picture Ben Shahn drew for a magazine that was selling medicine.
Hold something in your left hand between your thumb and finger–a penny maybe, or something about that size. Turn your hand back until you can get it to look like Ben Shahn’s drawing. When long things, like fingers, look short because they are pointing at you that is called “foreshortening.” See if you can notice foreshortening. It’s all around you!
This is a picture Ben Shahn drew of a music practice room. It is full of folding chairs and music stands.
Have you ever tried to draw a picture of many things crowded into a small space? Try it! Look for a box of things, or a cabinet, or anything else you can find. There are lots of places every day where you see things crowded together.
This is another picture Ben Shahn drew of a crowded space. This first shopping carts were made of thick wires. Do you see how the wires cross when carts overlap each other? It makes the picture darker in that place, doesn’t it? Artists use this method of “cross hatching” to make dark places on their drawings.
We’ll see that in the next artist we look at. His name is Pablo Picasso. He is one of the most famous artists of all time.