CJS spring program on “Speaking Through Art as a Jew” – “Painting for Freedom” on May 3

The first lecture in the College of Jewish Studies spring 2018 program “Speaking Through Art as a Jew: Visual Expressions of Jewish Culture” will be on Thursday, May 3, at 7:30 pm, when art historian Diana L. Linden will speak on “Painting for Freedom and the Freedom to Paint: Ben Shahn’s Murals and the M.S. St. Louis.” Her illustrated talk will examine murals painted by American artist Ben Shahn (1898-1969) under the auspices of the New Deal art projects that challenged America’s immigration policies. Linden specializes in American art of the 1930s, public art, feminist art, art and social movements and social realism. Her book, “Ben Shahn’s New Deal Murals: Jewish Identity in the American Scene” was selected as a finalist in the Visual Arts category of the 2015 National Jewish Book Awards. 
Linden received her undergraduate degree from SUNY Binghamton. During her first year at SUNY Binghamton while enrolled in the “Intro to Art History” class, Linden, as she puts it, had an “aha” moment and realized that she had decided on her major. Many courses later, working at the school’s museum, holding internships at such institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and after graduate study, Linden says she still can feel that “aha” moment when looking at works of art. After college, Linden went on to receive her M.A. in art history at Williams College, where she was selected by the faculty as the top graduate student. She worked full-time at the Brooklyn Museum in its education department while pursuing her Ph.D. in American art history at the City University of New York, The Graduate Center. Her dissertation was on American Jewish artists’ New Deal murals, which became the subject of her book “Ben Shahn’s New Deal Murals: Jewish Identity in the American Scene.” She was also the visual essayist for the scholarly team that produced “City of Promises: A History of the Jews of New York,” edited by Deborah Dash Moore, which was selected as the Jewish Book of the Year in 2012 . She is a co-editor of “The Social and the Real: Political Art of the Western Hemisphere in the 1930s,” which is the first hemispheric look at social realism throughout the 1930s. Linden has taught at Pitzer College, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, University of Southern California and Pomona College.
CJS programs are open to the entire community. All programs will begin at 7:30 pm at the Jewish Community Center. General admission is $8 per program, or $20 for all three programs; senior admission is $5 per program or $12 for all three programs. BU students are welcome to attend at no charge. Individual sponsorship is available and donations are always welcomed. Individual sponsorship of $100 includes admission to both fall and spring programs. For more information on how to become an individual sponsor or to make a donation, e-mail bingcjs@gmail.com. CJS is a 501(c)(3)non-profit organization.
CJS provides opportunities for adult Jewish education for the Broome County community by offering fall and spring programs. Drawing on local resources, and inviting scholars and experts from a range of universities and cultural and religious institutions, CJS sponsors an array of programs dealing with Jewish history, culture, religion and politics.
CJS, founded in 1986, is an informal coalition between the Judaic Studies Department of Binghamton University and several area Jewish sponsoring institutions: the Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Federation of Greater Binghamton, Beth David Synagogue, Temple Concord and Temple Israel. Programming for CJS would not be possible without the support of a grant from The Community Foundation for South Central New York – David and Virginia Eisenberg Donor Advised Fund, and additional financial support from the Jacob and Rose Olum Foundation, the B’nai B’rith Lectureship Fund, the Victor and Esther Rozen Foundation, an endowment fund from the former Temple Beth El of Endicott, a grant from the JoyVel Charitable Fund and the donations of individual sponsors.
For more information on CJS and its programs, go to www.bingcjs.org and www.facebook.com/bingcjs.