Further Biographical Context for Joan Marks
Born in 1914, Joan Marks was primarily inspired by the 1930s growing up. Internationally this period can be best characterised by the clash between the world’s leading political philosophies - Marxist Socialism, Capitalist Democracy, and the Totalitarianism of both Communism and Fascism. In the United States, the Great Depression had a great influence on artistic production, with many artists focusing on the agrarian and the humble man in the streets. It was the first time in US history that widespread movements of artists began to address politics, and attempted to use their art to influence society. Artists organized exhibitions on social and political themes such as poverty, lack of affordable housing, anti-lynching, anti-fascism, and workers' strikes.