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Artist:David Davidovich Burliuk , American, born Russia, 1882 - 1967 Title:Shame to All but to the Dead Date:1933 Medium:oil on canvas Culture: Russian; American; Ukrainian Dimensions:66 x 144 in. (167.6 x 365.8 cm) Credit Line:Museum purchase Accession number:1996.20.1 Label Copy: Painted after immigrating to New York in 1922, this work by David Burliuk represents a complex criticism of the situation many faced in the U.S. during the Great Depression. The painting focuses on the social effects of this economic disaster on the working class. Burliuk created this piece at the same time that American Regionalists produced work that glorified rural and urban America. At the right is a shanty town, and at the center, the philosopher Diogenes lies dead with two small stones placed on his eyes. Diogenes was the ancient Greek founder of the Cynic philosophy, and he lived in extreme poverty as a sign of virtue. His lantern, which the philosopher carried in the daytime in order to look for an honest man, appears at the right in front of the unemployed. At the far left is the modern city, the rich industrialists' playground, constructed by workers now neglected and forgotten like those who built Cleopatra's Needle, the ancient Egyptian obelisk in New York City's Central Park, which is visible in the background.


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