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The American Civil War: Shadows of Ourselves

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Hearst Over the People

Barbara Morgan (American, 1900–1992)

Date:
1939
Medium:
Collage of gelatin silver prints with applied media
Dimensions:
Image: 38.7 x 48.9 cm (15 1/4 x 19 1/4 in.) Frame: 68.6 x 76.2 cm (27 x 30 in.)
Classification:
Collages
Credit Line:
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc. (2005.27.4059)
  • Description

    The archconservative newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst was notorious for his xenophobia, vehement criticism of the New Deal, and support of Hitler and Benito Mussolini. In this photomontage, first published in the influential left-wing magazine New Masses, Morgan transforms Hearst’s grinning face into the body of an octopus—a symbol of corporate greed and corruption. Giant tentacles slither over a crowd of workers in a compelling evocation of the many-armed monster of Hearst’s sensationalist news empire.

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