Top of page

Exhibition Drawn to Purpose

Bernarda Bryson Shahn (1903–2004). Arkansas Sharecropper and Wife, ca. 1935. Lithograph. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (019.00.00)

Hard Times

From notes and drawings she made while driving artist Ben Shahn through the South and Midwest for his work for the Resettlement Administration during the 1930s, Bernarda Bryson Shahn began her own lithographic series “to tell the continuing story of American . . . settlement of the frontier.” Her portrayal of Arkansas sharecroppers stands out among images for this project. From the 1940s–1970s, Bryson published illustrations for Harpers, Life, and Scientific American, and beautiful drawings for fifteen children's books.