Cambridge: President and Fellows of Harvard University, 1956. First Edition. Octavo (23.5cm). Cloth-backed boards; 155pp. Presentation inscription on front endpaper from Nobel laureate George Wald to Ben Shahn: "To Ben Shahn / the "eminent artist" (p.49) / George Wald," undated. Covers soiled and stained; text clean and unmarked; about Very Good. From the library of Ben and Bernarda Bryson Shahn, with estate label tipped on to front pastedown.
Wald's inscription refers to a passage in the book which quotes an unnamed "eminent artist" - Shahn, it turns out - regarding his notions of an ideal education for an aspiring artist, one that will provide "an education without stifling ... artistic development." George Wald (1906-1997) was an eminent Harvard neurobiologist; he won the 1967 Nobel Prize for Medicine for his work with retinal pigments. He was also, like Shahn, an outspoken advocate for progressive political causes and a vocal opponent of both the Vietnam War and the nuclear arms race.