T00314 Lute and Molecules 1958
Inscribed 'Ben Shahn' b.r.
Screenprint hand-coloured in watercolour, 27 1/8 x 40 1/4 (69 x 102.5)
Purchased from the artist through the Leicester Galleries (Grant-in-Aid) 1959
Exh: Graphic Work of Ben Shahn, Leicester Galleries, London, November 1959 (13) as 'Lute and Molecules I'
The artist wrote of this work: '23 copies were made, all are approximately alike in color.
'The juxtaposition of the two objects resulted from the simple fact that both the lute and the model of molecules happened to be in my studio in the Fogg Museum at Harvard; I daresay I was somewhat struck by their dissimilarity in use as well as by the similarity between the keys of the lute and the atomic structure of the molecule. All this was, of course, entirely fortuitous and I am sure that nothing of the sort will again take place in my work, for I doubt that I shall again be in an environment where the two objects could conceivably be in one place' (letter of 24 May 1960)…