Persimmon Tree is pleased to honor artist Eleanor Rubin in this issue. A printmaker and watercolorist, she gained acclaim in the ’70s and ’80s for her series of human rights posters. As her career unfolded, she collaborated with poets and research scientists to create additional stunning, socially aware images. As an artist, she is interested in questions about the impact of visual images on a person’s sense of well-being.
The images below are drawn from her recent book, Eleanor Rubin: Dreams of Repair (Charta, 2011). In the Foreword, historian Howard Zinn wrote: “If the role of art is to join beauty to a deep caring for people in trouble, for a world in trouble; if it is to transcend the artificial boundaries that keep us apart; if it is to join us in solidarity with other sentient beings and with the natural world—then Eleanor Rubin fulfills the most profound responsibilities of the artist.”
Eleanor Rubin is an avid amateur cellist whose artwork is influenced by music, particularly the works of Hikari Oe. The qualities of narrative and protest in her work are indebted to courageous artists including Tomiyama Taeko (b. 1921), Nancy Spero (1926-2009), and Charlotte Salomon (1917-1943).
Click on the image to enlarge them.