Themes

Activism

The radical priest Daniel Berrigan played a formidable role in awaking Corita Kent's social consciousness. Calling her attention to some of the most pressing social issues of the time, including the Vietnam War and racial inequality in America, Berrigan encouraged Corita to use her graphic art to address the political turmoil of the 1960s. Responding to Berrigan's call to engage in the radical social protest of the 1960s Corita stated, "I couldn't march and be in the public that way. I had to bring into the work… The idea that using words with visual forms and using just short passages is often a way to help awaken people to something they may not be aware of, rather than enclosing it in a book or making a speech."1 In news of the week (1969), Corita contrasts images from the present day's headlines on the Vietnam War with a quotation from Walt Whitman, calling attention to the brutality of war. Corita continued to work for social justice throughout her life, producing works for the American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International at the end of her career.


  • Bernard Galm, Los Angeles Art Community: Group Portrait: Corita Kent. Oral History 1976. (The Regents of the University of California, 1977) 73.
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Bernard Galm, Los Angeles Art Community: Group Portrait: Corita Kent. Oral History 1976. (The Regents of the University of California, 1977) 73.

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"Activism." Corita Kent in the Grunwald Center Collection. Los Angeles: Hammer Museum, 2017. https://​hammer.ucla.edu/​collections/​grunwald-center-collection/​corita-kent/​art/​themes/​activism/​.