Author of Book on Superman Painting to Visit Lehman March 27

March 13, 2012 4:30 pm Lehman College Art Gallery, Library

David Saunders, author of H.J. Ward and Superman, will visit the Lehman College Art Gallery on Thursday, March 27, to give a talk about the College’s own Superman painting, which is currently on loan to the Gallery from the Leonard Lief Library for the “Under the Influence: The Comics” exhibit. This event, which is free and open to the community, will begin at 12:30 p.m.

Saunders is an artist and art historian from Westhampton Beach. He tracked the painting to the Lehman Library when he was preparing a biography of the painter.

The “Under the Influence: The Comics” installation examines the work of a group of artists inspired by imagery popular in comic books. The pieces range in media and themes from the personal to pop culture to the political, social, and historical.

H.J. Ward’s Superman is a special addition to the exhibition and offers a counterpoint to the contemporary artists’ works in the show. The painting, created as a promotional image for the Superman radio show, became the first official portrait of Superman, and defined his standard features.

With the painting, Superman evolved from a rudimentary line drawing to a real flesh and blood superhero. In the painting, Superman is shown with his hands on his hips in a position of authority—it’s a persona developed on the eve of America’s entry into WWII. Now in the collection of Lehman College, it once hung on the walls of the DC Comics offices.