10 and Out

Braverman--10 and Out.jpg
BravermanB - 10 and Out.JPG

Dublin Core



This painting depicts a boxing match, in which one of the boxers successfully knocks out his opponent. The victor, standing upright on the right side sporting turquoise shorts, looks confident and strong as he watches his opponent on the ground along with the referee. His opponent is curled up on the floor of the ring, his face downturned and covered by his arms. The colors are vibrant, and the work’s shadows create a realistic effect. Braverman's painting takes on new significance when considered in relation to economic conditions during the 1930s.

About the Artist: Born in New York City, Braverman’s subsequent life tracks alongside the changing fortunes of radical politics in America. He appears to have lived in Chicago, studying in Paris with André L’hote, but he also was listed as Chairman of the People’s Institute in Toledo, OH during 1911. Perhaps his debut as an artist began in 1907, at age 19, with political cartoons published in To-Morrow Magazine: on subjects like plutocracy and class-based sexual politics. During the 1910s “Barney” was Associate Editor and Circulation Manager for The Progressive Woman in Chicago. It was founded as The Socialist Woman in 1907 by Josephine Conger-Kaneko and in 1913 would become The Coming Nation before folding in 1914. He produced the magazine’s masthead much of its political art: on child labor, domestic work, and women in trade unions. Meanwhile, Braverman also was drawing political cartoons for The Masses (1912) and publishing pamphlets like “Suffragists, Watch Out for the Wolf!” (1913). After passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, and as socialist unity fragmented under the duress of Palmer Raids and systematic anti-red legislation, Braverman became disillusioned and moved into poster art and advertising. By the 1920s he worked for the Curtis Company agency in Detroit, MI and then in 1926 the Hamman group in Oakland, CA.  During his time in Detroit, Braverman played an important role in smuggling copies of James Joyce’s banned novel Ulysses. In 1922, the novelist Ernest Hemingway—who knew Braverman—suggested an arrangement with publisher Sylvia Beach: she would ship 300 books to Windsor, Ontario, where Braverman had rented a room; he would smuggle them across the US border individually, then re-bundle them and ship via a private express company. He asked only to be reimbursed for his expenses (no fee charged) at a time of heavy border patrols during Prohibition. Historian Kevin Birmingham writes that “it required him to break the law every time he crossed the border with a copy of Ulysses, possessed a copy for distribution in Michigan and shipped the book across state lines. He risked a five-thousand-dollar fine and five years in prison, but he would do it anyway” (The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses 236-237). Later Braverman created works for the Federal Art Project, including “Down and Out” (1937)—perhaps modeled on the boxing paintings of George Bellows, like “Dempsey and Firpo” (1924). One critic reviewing a 1936 group show complained that Braverman’s “static figures against his dynamic backgrounds drop his picture to a poster level...he suffers from commercial art influence, with its false emphasis on showiness” (Brooklyn Daily Eagle 9 Feb. 1936: 40). But Braverman’s work always had been grounded in the striking image, and postwar Pop Art soon would incorporate both political and commercial iconography. Braverman always had a great interest in films, during the 1940s working upon an authorized biography of the director D.W. Griffith that never was published. He lived the last years of his life in St. Paul, MN.


Braverman, Barnet, b. 1888








Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Oil on canvas

Physical Dimensions

23.5 X 29.5 in.
Condition: peeling, punctures