The Pointed Pen: William Sharp’s Courtroom Drawings

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, June 15, 2024


The Pointed Pen: William Sharp’s Courtroom Drawings



QUEENS, NEW YORK.- The Queens Museum of Art presents "The Pointed Pen: William Sharp’s Courtroom Drawings, Political Caricatures, and Book Illustrations from the 1930s-1950s," on view through March 2, 2003. This is the first museum retrospective of the work of William Sharp (1900-1961), an artist who fled Nazi Germany and settled in Forest Hills, where he became widely regarded for illustrations that captured the political, racial, and economic tensions of the Cold War era. The Pointed Pen: William Sharp’s Courtroom Drawings, Political Caricatures, and Book Illustrations from the 1930s-1950s brings together more than 250 illustrations, etchings, and lithographs characterized by Sharp’s keen ability to convey emotional truths often masked by political and social conventions. Largely overlooked since his death, Sharp’s drawings of famous trials, political cartoons, and portraits of street life depict historical events and moods from this fascinating period in American history.  An opening reception will be held January 12, 2003, 3-6pm.

 

Born Leon Schleifer in Lemberg, Austria (now part of Ukraine), in 1900, Sharp studied fine art in Austria and Poland before finishing his studies at the University in Berlin in 1918. After serving briefly in the German army at the end of World War I, he stayed on in Berlin and worked as a book illustrator, painter, etcher, and lithographer, and soon focused on courtroom trial sketches and magazine work for the Berliner Tageblatt and Volk und Zeit. In the late 1920s, as Adolph Hitler’s National Socialist Party grew, Sharp, under various pseudonyms, drew political cartoons satirizing the party and its leader in the anti-Nazi press. After being threatened with imprisonment by the Nazis in 1933, Schleifer and his wife Ruth fled the country and arrived in New York the following year. In 1940, Schleifer became a United States citizen and changed his name to William Sharp. The Sharps settled in Forest Hills and stayed in the same apartment until William’s death in 1961 and Ruth’s in 2002.

 

For his first assignment in New York, Sharp found himself sketching the extraordinary court case of Bruno R. Hauptmann, who stood accused of kidnapping famed aviator Charles Lindbergh’s baby in the “trial of the century.” Reproduced in the New York Daily Mirror and in Hearst-owned papers throughout the U.S., the case perhaps presaged his destiny as the finest courtroom illustrator of his time. Sharp went on to cover some of the most sensational trials of the 1940s and ‘50s, including those of Alger Hiss, the Brinks Robbery, and Tokyo Rose, which are included in this exhibition.

Outside the courtroom, Sharp frequently lampooned American society in the pages of Life, PM, and Esquire magazines. He was deeply concerned with racial injustice and created several series of drawings that addressed the welfare and treatment of African-Americans in the legal system. He also completed a series of works celebrating jazz culture in the ’50s, many of whose key figures lived in Queens. He often addressed the peccadilloes of New York life in Coronet, Colliers, the New York Post, and, for over twenty-five years, The New York Times Magazine. With a cast of characters that ranged from political heavyweight Joseph Stalin to prize fighter Joe Louis, Sharp combined progressive politics and a knack for detail, resulting in unforgettable images that carried unequivocal meaning as well as broad appeal.

 

 











Today's News

June 15, 2024

Museum calls off Kehinde Wiley show, citing assault allegations

Long in the shadows, the Latimer House Museum gets a glow-up

Collectors worldwide cleared their calendars for Bertoia's $2.5M sale of John and Adrianne Haley's antique toy and bank

A basket maker keeping alive, and reinventing, an ancestral craft

How groundbreaking is Vivian Maier's photography?

Watching the future hatch in the New Museum incubator

RIBA reveals 22 exceptional projects in search for world's most transformative building

The magnet fisherman's dilemma: What to do with $70,000 before it disintegrates

Susan Jaffe wants to build a new era at American Ballet Theater

A textile company that wants you to feel at home

Connie Butler appointed Director of MoMA PS1

The Jesus Lizard, underground rock heroes, surface with a new album

When Vienna's opera tradition got too traditional, they stepped in

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts presents an exhibition of works by Andō Hiroshige

Pay $1 to hear Wu-Tang Clan's secret album (eventually)

Exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery offers a unique perspective on Mexican society and culture

Winning design team proposed for renewed and enlarged S.M.A.K.

Smithsonian announces endowment of the Smithsonian Science Education Center Director

Gagosian opens "The Body as Matter: Giacometti Nauman Picasso" in London

The Morgan Library & Museum announces new appointments

Lisson Gallery opens exhibition of works by Otobong Nkanga

Decorative Arts Trust Publishing Grant recipients announced

Major exhibition provides an historical, social, political, and personal examination of breathing




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful