This month the American Folk Art Museum features the art of Ralph Fasanella, in an exhibit entitled : Lest We Forget. The Bronx born artist was the youngest son of Italian immigrants who worked, as laborers to raise their family of six children. His father was an ice delivery man and his mother worked in a dress shop, drilling holes in buttons. His mother understood the importance of labor unions and was an anti- fascist activist. Mr. Fasanella’s paintings tell stories of the plight of laborers, and political unrest in post -war America. The phrase “Lest we forget” appears in many of his paintings. During his young adult life he held many different jobs such as textile worker and truck driver but his main passion was organizing labor unions. He took up painting to exercise his arthritic hands. His paintings are densely packed with imagery and messages and they are very large because he imagined them being displayed in union halls. A folk art dealer “discovered” him in 1972 ,and he enjoyed recognition for his artwork in his later years. This exhibit it perfect for your older children. The exhibit is up until December 1st.
The Folk Art Museum
2 Lincoln Square Columbus Ave and 66th street
Ralph Fasanella, “American Tragedy” (detail) (1964), oil on canvas, 40 x 90 inches / 101.6 x 228.6 cm