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Social Unionism in Action

The Union Meets the Met: Magic Wedding

Magazine of Art, October 1946.

“Magic Wedding,” oil painting by Leon Berch, member of ILGWU Local 22, early 1940s.

The union provided classes after work, studios near garment shops, art materials, instruction, and funds to cover the cost of framing and exhibiting. The initial “fear and trembling” soon gave way to “confident cooperation between students and teachers,” according to Abel’s account, “and the group has held several exhibitions.”

The fact that prominent artist John Sloan was one of the judges at the first exhibition reflects the success of the initial collaboration between the labor movement and artists.