Tag: Works on Paper

The apparent plaintiveness and autobiographical transparency of Should Love Come First?, and its early prominence in the then unknown Rauschenberg oeuvre, felt intensified by its obliteration by the artist himself. If ever an artwork had a story worth sleuthing, I figured it was this one, even if it was just the story of its own production.

In times of economic and environmental crisis, illustrators for the popular press often produced images of charity that worked alongside text to explain philanthropic processes and to demonstrate the effectiveness of various types of food aid. In addition to this instructional function, depictions of food aid reinforced social boundaries between the recipients of charity, viewers, and those with the ability to offer their time and resources. As a force for difference, these images utilize food and philanthropy as legible and significant markers of class.

John W. Winkler (1894–1979) was born in Vienna and immigrated to the United States as a young man. Arriving in San Francisco in 1912, he studied with the painter and printmaker Frank Van Sloun at the San Francisco Institute of Art, and by the 1920s, he was an internationally celebrated etcher.

The hapless steamboat Lexington left New York for its usual run up to Stonington, Connecticut, at three o’clock in the afternoon on January 13, 1840, carrying passengers and a cargo of cotton bales. The day was particularly cold and the seas beyond Throgs Neck particularly high; almost all the passengers aboard elected to pay the extra 50¢ fare to be off the deck and inside the luxurious heated cabins.