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Saul Steinberg, 15 Jun 1914 - 12 May 1999  Search this
Saul Steinberg, 15 Jun 1914 - 12 May 1999  Search this
Sheet: 43.2 x 55.7cm (17 x 21 15/16")
Mat: 46.5 x 59.2cm (18 5/16 x 23 5/16")
Exhibition Label:
Sam's Art
Saul Steinberg 1914-1999
Throughout nearly sixty years contributing cartoons and more than ninety covers to the New Yorker, Saul Steinberg blurred the boundaries between cartoons and fine art. In Sam's Art, Steinberg portrayed himself as Uncle Sam, one of his favorite Americana motifs. A Romanian-born Jew trained as an architect in Italy, Steinberg came to the United States during World War II and pursued drawing as a "way of reasoning on paper." His thought process appears here as a jumble above his head, not yet applied to the blank canvas. Official-looking pictorial forms, including formal (but illegible) script, bald eagles, and Masonic pyramids from the back of the dollar bill raise issues about governmental authority, immigrant identity, and assimilation. As an immigrant, Steinberg was keenly aware of the "the voyage between perception and understanding" and believed that displacement was, in fact, "the tradition of the artist."
Costume\Headgear\Hat\Top hat  Search this
Artist's Effects\Palette  Search this
Artist's Effects\Paintbrush  Search this
Artist's Effects\Easel  Search this
Weapon\Cannon  Search this
Nature & Environment\Animal\Bird\Eagle  Search this
Weapon\Cannonball  Search this
Self-portrait  Search this
Symbols & Motifs\Seal\Great Seal of the United States  Search this
Saul Steinberg: Visual Arts\Artist  Search this
Saul Steinberg: Male  Search this
Saul Steinberg: Visual Arts\Artist\Cartoonist  Search this
Saul Steinberg: Military\Navy\Officer  Search this
Saul Steinberg: Visual Arts\Architect  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; the Ruth Bowman and Harry Kahn Twentieth-Century American Self-Portrait Collection
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery