The Shape of Content

1957, a first edition of Ben Shahn's Charles Eliot Norton Lectures


Ben Shahn


Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1957
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Printing Details

First US edition. Hardback in dustwrapper. 23.5 × 16cm, 131pp.

In his 1956–57 Charles Eliot Norton Lectures, the Russian-born American painter Ben Shahn sets down his personal views of the relationship of the artist—painter, writer, composer—to his material, his craft, and his society. He talks of the creation of the work of art, the importance of the community, the problem of communication, and the critical theories governing the artist and his audience.


The book is in good plus condition, with clean pages and secure binding. The dustwrapper is poor, with creasing to the edges, long closed tears and a fairly large missing segment to the rear but is now within a protective sleeve. Neat previous owner's gift inscription to ffep.



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