Illustrations for Hiroshima by John Hersey
Jacob Lawrence (American, 1917 – 2000)
MediumScreenprints in book
DimensionsWork : 12 3/4 x 9 3/4 x 7/8 in. (32.38 x 24.77 x 2.22 cm)
Credit LineHope College Collection
LabelIn August 1946, war correspondent John Hersey published a lengthy article in the New Yorker magazine describing the devastation caused by the atomic bomb that the United States had dropped on Hiroshima, Japan a year earlier. The article told the story of the bombing and its aftermath through the lives of six survivors, and was the first extensive account of the terrible destructive power of nuclear weapons. In 1982, during a time of rising Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, the Limited Editions Club of New York published a special edition of Hersey's article containing eight silkscreen images created on commission by the celebrated African American artist Jacob Lawrence. Lawrence's images are not illustrations of specific passages from Hersey's essay. Rather, the tormented forms and lurid colors of the images effectively convey the universal feelings of horror and fear generated by the text and by the prospect of nuclear war more generally.