Mitchell Siporin

Courtesy Mitchell Siporin papers, 1913-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Name
Mitchell Siporin
Born
New York, New York
Died
Boston, Massachusetts
Active in
  • Newton, Massachusetts
Nationalities
American
U.S. States
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI
Luce Artist Biography

Mitchell Siporin’s immigrant parents were left-wing intellectuals who taught him the importance of social justice. Siporin’s father was a union organizer, and the artist’s interest in the labor movement showed in the work he completed for the socialist journal The New Masses, after studying at the Art Institute of Chicago. When he was twenty-three years old he created a series of pen-and-ink drawings of the notorious Chicago Haymarket riot of 1886, and these powerful images later ended up in major museums across the country. During the late 1930s and early 1940s, he worked for the Works Progress Administration. His mural for the post office in St. Louis, Missouri, was the largest commission awarded by the government, and it is among the few WPA projects that shows social conflict. Siporin founded the art department at Brandeis University in 1951 and taught there for twenty-five years. (Mitchell Siporin: Paintings and Unique Works on Paper, 1930-1949, Susan Teller Gallery, 2004)