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EMERSON GALLERY EXHIBITION OPENING SEPT. 7: SHOUTS FROM THE WALL: POSTERS AND PHOTOGRAPHS BROUGHT

By staff  |  Contact staff
Posted August 21, 1997
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Sixty years ago, posters screamed their protests from the walls of Spanish cities. With stark images of raised fists and faces and of guns and flags held high, these stunning pictures spoke of the dangers of fascist terror and the urgency of public resistance.

On Sunday, Sept. 7, the Emerson Gallery at Hamilton College will present the opening of the exhibition Shouts From the Wall: Posters and Photographs Brought Home from the Spanish Civil War by American Volunteers. The exhibition, which presents a selection of the powerful posters that were employed by the Spanish Republic to exhort and inspire its people during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), continues through October 19.

In conjunction with the opening of the exhibition, the Emerson Gallery will present two days of special events on Sunday, Sept. 7 and Monday, Sept. 8. On Sunday, Sept. 7 at 2 p.m. two American veterans of the Spanish Civil War will participate in a panel discussion entitled The Meaning of the Spanish Civil War to take place in Dwight Lounge in Bristol Campus Center. Abe Osheroff and Saul Wellman, both of whom fought in Spain in the late 1930s, will discuss the significance of their volunteer effort. Following the panel discussion, a reception for the speakers and for the opening of the exhibition will take place at the Emerson Gallery from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The opening events continue on Monday, Sept. 8 with the showing of the film The Good Fight in the auditorium of the Kirner-Johnson Building at 4:00 p.m. This unusually engaging historical documentary on the American volunteers in the Spanish Civil War will be introduced by veteran Abe Osheroff. On Monday evening at 8 p.m., a lecture titled The Abraham Lincoln Brigade and the Spanish Civil War: Legend and Legacy will be presented in the Red Pit of the Kirner-Johnson Building. The speakers will be co-curator of the exhibition, Peter Carroll, authority on the American experience in Spain and author of The Odyssey of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade: Americans in the Spanish Civil War; and Maurice Isserman, William R. Kenan Professor of History at Hamilton College and author of Which Side Were You On?: The American Communist Party During the Second World War.

The Spanish Civil War has been called one of the most idealistic and most tragic wars ever

waged. Just three years before Hitler plunged the whole world into war, he and Mussolini

bankrolled Generalissimo Francisco Franco in a brutal military coup in Spain in suppression of the democratically-elected Republican government. The western democracies, including the U.S., chose to remain non-interventionist, thereby cutting off the flow of arms to the beleaguered Republicans (also called Loyalists). In an unprecedented international response to the threat of fascism, nearly 40,000 idealistic volunteers from 52 countries went to Spain to assist the Republic. Over 2,800 Americans, collectively dubbed the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, were among them.

Artists and intellectuals from all over the world supported the Spanish Republic or were creatively inspired by its heroic resistance -- Picasso, Hemingway, Malraux, Octavio Paz, Miro, Auden, Orwell, Dos Passos, Sartre, Paul Robeson and Pablo Neruda to name only a few. Shouts From the Wall offers a remarkable opportunity to reconsider a momentous historical event that is little understood today.

In addition to the opening events, the Emerson Gallery will present additional programs during September and October which will further explore the political and cultural history of the Spanish Civil War from a variety of perspectives, with particular emphasis on America in the 1930s and the American men and women who volunteered to come to the aid of the Spanish Republic. They will include a gallery talk and slide-illustrated lecture by Cary Nelson, co-curator of the exhibition, a film series, and a program of letters and music. For further information on the events planned, please consult the enclosed program.

The exhibition is organized by the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives at Brandeis University. The curators are Peter Carroll and Cary Nelson. It is made possible by grants from The Puffin Foundation Ltd., Charles Lawrence Keith and Clara Miller Foundation, the Program for Cultural Cooperation Between Spain's Ministry of Culture and United States' Universities, the Blue Mountain Center, and the Needmor Fund. Professional services provided by the Technical Assistance Program, a division of The American Federation of Arts.

Admission to the exhibition and to all events is free and open to the public. The Emerson Gallery is located on the first floor of Christian A. Johnson Hall, directly behind the Hamilton College Chapel, and is wheelchair accessible. Gallery hours are weekdays, 12 - 5 , weekends, 1-5. The gallery is closed national holidays. For further information, contact the Emerson Gallery at 315 859-4396.

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