Ben Shahn: For the Sake of a Single Verse
On view through December 15, 2019
Haggerty Museum of Art
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

“For the Sake of a Single Verse” is a portfolio of twenty-four lithographs from the Haggerty Museum of Art’s collection created by artist Ben Shahn. The prints illustrate a select passage from Rainer Maria Rilke’s only novel, “The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge” (1910). This semi-autobiographical novel tells the story of a college student from an aristocratic Danish family living in destitution in Paris in the early 1900s. The book made a profound and lasting impression on Shahn. Although Shahn first read the novel while visiting Paris in the 1920s, he didn’t create the illustrations until 1968—a year before his death.

Image: Ben Shahn, For the Sake of a Single Verse (detail), 1969, Lithograph, 98.31.5, Gift of Anonymous Donor, Collection of the Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University.