Sacco And Vanzetti
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Ben Shahn, American (Kovno (now Kaunas), Lithuania 1898 - 1969 New York, NY)
Sacco and Vanzetti
Work Type
Physical Descriptions
Black ink on pale buff wove paper
actual: 14.6 x 21.5 cm (5 3/4 x 8 7/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: black ink, l.r.: Ben Shahn
  • inscription: l.r., graphite: 9 [in circle]
[Downtown Gallery, New York, New York], sold to Paul J. Sachs, Cambridge Massachusetts (L. 2091), gift; to Fogg Art Museum, 1956.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Meta and Paul J. Sachs
Artwork © Estate of Ben Shahn / Licensed by VAGA, NY
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art
Publication History

The Art of Ben Shahn, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1956), no. 19 or 65 [two versions of catalogue]

Ben Shahn, The Shape of Content (Cambridge, MA, 1957), reproduced p. 37

James Thrall Soby, Ben Shahn: His Graphic Art, George Braziller, Inc. (New York, NY, 1957), reproduced no. 63

Sidney Simon and Emily S. Rauh, 20th Century Master Drawings, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1963), no. 112

Kenyon Castle Bolton, III, Peter G. Huenink, Earl A. Powell III, Harry Z. Rand, and Nanette C. Sexton, American Art at Harvard, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1972), cat. 160, ill.

Kenneth W. Prescott, The Complete Graphic Works of Ben Shahn, Quadrangle (New York, NY, 1973), p. 33

Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., American Master Drawings and Watercolors: A History of Works on Paper from Colonial Times to the Present, Harper & Row (New York, NY, 1976), p. 341, fig. 301

Frances K. Pohl, Ben Shahn: New Deal Artist in a Cold War Climate, 1947-1954, University of Tennessee Press (Austin, TX, 1989), p. 128

In Good Conscience: The Radical Tradition in 20th-Century American Illustration, exh. cat., Katonah Museum of Art (Katonah, NY, 1992), ill.

Alejandro Anreus, Ben Shahn and The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti, exh. cat., Jersey City Museum (Jersey City, NJ, 2001), checklist no. 11, repr. p. 87 (color), p. 120, also fig. 31

[Reproduction only], The Nation, (August 23, 1952)., reproduced on cover

Vivien Raynor, "Politics and Artists, Then and Now" [review], The New York Times (New York, NY, August 30, 1992), p. 20

Exhibition History

The Art of Ben Shahn, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 12/04/1956 - 01/19/1957

Ben Shahn: A Documentary Exhibition, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Boston, 04/10/1957 - 05/31/1957

20th Century Master Drawings, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 11/06/1963 - 01/05/1964; University of Minnesota Art Gallery, Minneapolis, 02/03/1964 - 03/15/1964; Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/06/1964 - 05/24/1964

10th Annual Exhibition-- Ben Shahn, Temple Beth El, Portland, 05/01/1971 - 05/31/1971

American Art at Harvard, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/19/1972 - 06/18/1972

Politics as Catalyst for the Arts: The American Jewish Response, American Jewish Historical Society, Waltham, 02/24/1973 - 06/01/1973

Image of America in Caricature and Cartoon, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, 10/16/1975 - 12/14/1975; Fort Wayne Public Library, Fort Wayne, 02/02/1976 - 03/14/1976; Rhode Island School of Design, Museum of Art, Providence, 10/13/1976 - 11/21/1976

In Good Conscience: The Radical Tradition in 20th-Century American Illustration, Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, 08/16/1992 - 09/27/1992; Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, 10/17/1992 - 12/26/1992; Montgomery Museum of Art, Montgomery, 01/10/1993 - 02/21/1993

Ben Shahn and The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti, Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, 09/12/2001 - 12/16/2001

Related Works
Verification Level

4 - Best. Object is extensively researched, well described and information is vetted