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Crockett Johnson and Ruth KraussHow an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children's Literature$
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Philip Nel

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781617036248

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617036248.001.0001

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Painting, Passports, and Protest

Painting, Passports, and Protest

(p.219) 23 Painting, Passports, and Protest
Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss

Philip Nel

University Press of Mississippi

When Ruth Krauss recovered from her bout ofmkl spinal meningitis, she and Crockett Johnson decided to travel to Europe and applied for new passports in the fall of 1964. Before departing, however, they joined protests against the Vietnam War. Johnson was one of the sponsors of the Assembly of Men and Women in the Arts, Concerned with Vietnam. Krauss also lent her voice to the antiwar movement by signing, along with 400 others, a statement that appeared in the New York Times on April 18, 1965. Titled “End Your Silence” and subtitled “A Protest of Artists and Writers,” the full-page ad called for “an immediate turning of the American policy in Vietnam to the methods of peace.” By the time the ad appeared, Krauss and Johnson had embarked for Europe, returning on July 2. As she approached her sixty-fourth birthday, Krauss was thriving professionally, but found it difficult to bring her new poetic sensibility into children’s books. Meanwhile, Johnson, disappointed by the reviews for his Magic Beach and The Emperor’s Gifts, turned to painting, even as Krauss’s creative work was finding its way into the counterculture.

Keywords:   protests, Ruth Krauss, Crockett Johnson, Europe, Vietnam War, antiwar movement, children’s books, Magic Beach, The Emperor’s Gifts, painting

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