Known by many as a cartoonist dedicated to socialism, Art Young (1866-1943) underwent classical training with John H. Vanderpoel at the Art Institute of Chicago (1884-96), at the Art Students League (1888-), and in Paris under William Bouguereau, where he knew Robert Henri.
His cartoons appeared in The Masses, the New Masses, The Nation, Saturday Evening Post, The New Yorker, Life and Collier’s. The Masses, where Young was on the editorial board, was “devoted to the interests of the working people.” They fought for pacifism while World War I was brewing in Europe, and they were critical of puritanism, capitalism and conservative Christianity.
Young exhibited Flowers and A Portrait at the Society of Independent Artists in 1917 and two other paintings at their show a year later. In addition, he exhibited twice at the Whitney Museum of American Art: a pen and ink drawing in 1938 and a crayon drawing three years later.
Young participated in the American Artists’ Congress in 1936, and remained active in radical left-wing causes. An autobiography appeared in 1928: On My Way, full of priceless cartoons and illustrations and another appeared in 1939, titled Art Young: His Life and Times.