People Are My Landscape: Social Struggle in the Art of William Gropper

Introduction, Exhibition Catalogs, Peer Honors

The Artist and His Media, Cartoons, and Murals, Paintings and Prints

Magazine Illustrations

Book and Pamphlet Illustration, Caricatures

Sketches and Lithographs


The Shtetl


The Capriccios

The Capriccios by William Gropper is a series of fifty lithographs that was completed between 1953 and 1956. Twelve of the set have been loaned to this exhibition courtesy of the Syracuse University Art Collection.

Gropper was subpoenaed to appear before Senator Joseph McCarthy's Subcommittee on Investigations in May 1953 to answer the allegation that his map painting William Gropper's America: Its Folklore distributed by the U.S. Department of State was inspired and backed by Communists. Gropper invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer any questions. He was subsequently blacklisted. While unable to obtain public or private commissions readily because of this, Gropper found financial support from sympathetic individuals and created a series of lithographs inspired by Francisco de Goya's Los Caprichos, a series of satirical etchings depicting the political and social setting of late eighteenth-century Spain. Gropper expressed his own disdain for the American ideological culture of the 1950s in his variation entitled The Capriccios.

42a. Fate
42b. Ladder of Success
42c. Awakening
42d. Emancipator
42e. Gossip Mongers
42f. Justice
42g. Have and the Have Nots
42h. New Dawn
42i. Tornado
42j. Piece Work
42k. Blacklist
42l. Politicos

Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Library
Syracuse, NY 13244
Last modified: June 09, 2012 12:35 PM
URL: /digital/exhibits/g/Gropper/hall.htm