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Exhibition Drawn to Purpose

Bernarda Bryson Shahn (1903–2004). The Empire Builders, "Those Christian Men to Whom God in his Infinite Wisdom Has Given Control of the Property Interests of the Country," 1935. Lithograph. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (019.01.00)

Her Own Series

Showing titans of industry against a revealing backdrop, Bernarda Bryson Shahn adds lettering to her imaginary group portrait of American financial leaders whose enterprises hastened the end of the American frontier. Moved by her desire to take "American society to task on issues such as slavery, labor, economics, and ignorance," she created this visual commentary in the 1930s as part of a series intended for publication but which remained unfinished.