Art Young, Originally printed in The MassesSeptember 1917.  Reprinted with caption in On My Way



In 1910 Art Young moved to New York's Greenwich Village, where he joined the Socialist Party, indulged in Avant Garde modernism and met the future editors of The MassesThe Masses is a landmark magazine of American art and politics and a critical voice for freedom of speech in the early 20th century.  Art Young became its cartoon editor produced images for The Masses that ranged from allegorical condemnations of capitalism to subtle urban pastorals, work that bridged the space between weekly newspaper cartooning and the emergent Ash Can school of American painting.  This page features some of the best work for The Masses and its successor The Liberator.  Essential to this story is The Masses strong opposition to American entry into World War I, and the government repression which followed.  Young drew many anti-war and anti-imperialist images for The Masses, a crime for which Young faced two federal trials for conspiring against the war effort in 1918.  When, in the midst of the Red Scare, the Justice Department finally did put The Masses out of business, Max Eastman, Jack Reed, Claude McKay, Young and others started The Liberator and promptly celebrated the success of Communist revolution in Russia.  

Art Young, reprinted in On My Way

Click images to enlarge.

Maurice Becker, "Unlawful Assembly," The MassesMay 1914.

Art Young,The Masses, May 1913. 

Art Young, The Masses, October 1911. 


Art Young, The Liberator, May 1920.  Click images to enlarge.

Richard Battle, The Masses, January 1914.

William Gropper, The Liberator, May 1919.