Exhibition of Ralph Fasanella’s paintings

August 31, 2014

The exhibition of Lincoln Vet Ralph Fasanella’s paintings “Ralph Fasanella: Lest We Forget,” organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, opens on Tuesday (Sept. 2) at the American Folk Art Museum.

The self-taught artist Ralph Fasanella (1914-97), born in the Bronx to Italian immigrants, believed that painting could be a form of labor advocacy. He worked as an ice delivery man, a truck driver, a gas station owner and a union organizer, all the while developing his colorful and detailed scenes of working-class life. He also made historical paintings, like the mid-1970s series of canvases documenting the 1912 “Bread and Roses” strike in Lawrence, Mass.

Ralph Fasanella, June 1993 (credit: Len Tsou)

Ralph Fasanella, June 1993 (credit: Len Tsou)

Ralph Fasanella’s first gallery retrospective was held last year at the Andrew Edlin Gallery in New York City. The Volunteer had an article of that exhibition written by Nancy Wallach, the daughter of Lincoln Vet Hy Wallach.