(New York: Kennedy Graphics, .). 422 x 453 mm. (16 5/8 x 17 3/4").  leaves. No. 133 OF 240 NUMBERED COPIES (from a total edition of 250).
Original light brown cloth, covers with large black morocco labels with gilt lettering. Housed in a matching clamshell box, the interior of which contains a list of illustrations, matted. WITH 24 LITHOGRAPH ILLUSTRATIONS BY BEN SHAHN, each facing a decorative page of Hebrew text printed in yellow and black, final page with artist's device. One edge of box slightly bumped, list of illustrations and contents with light offsetting as usual, but a very fine copy inside and out.
This was the final project completed by Ben Shahn (1898-1969), leading American realist painter and muralist widely recognized for his socially conscious works. Born in Lithuania to Jewish parents, Shahn emigrated to the United States in 1906 and became a popular and versatile artist who worked in a variety of media and on a range of projects. His credits are as varied as assistant to muralist Diego Rivera, photographer for the Resettlement Administration (alongside the likes of Dorothea Lange and his friend, Walker Evans), maker of posters for the Office of War Information during WWII, and commercial artist for CBS. He is best known, however, for artwork depicting left-leaning political ideals and highlighting social concerns, such as his series of gouache paintings known as "The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti," and his New Deal-era murals showing the plight of the working class. According to the preface to the present work, Shahn became increasingly introspective and deeply interested in religious imagery toward the end of his life. Here, the artist creates an intimate series of lithographs using Hebrew calligraphy and simple line drawings to illustrate his favorite Psalm, number 150, calling for music and dancing in praise of the Lord. It is all the more poignant knowing that this was Shahn's last work before his death, published posthumously and thus unsigned. (ST15816-05)
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PJP Catalog: 77.148