top of page

Glossary of Terms from Essays


James Agee: (1909 in Knoxville – 1955 in New York)

-American author and important poet.

Max Beckmann: (1884 in Leipzig – 1950 in New York)

-Painter and graphic artist, member of the Berliner Sezession; classified as a “degenerate artist” by the Nazis.


-In Greek mythology, the boatman who ferries the souls of the dead across the underworld river Acheron to the infernal regions of Hades.

William Sloane Coffin: (born in 1924)

-From 1958 to 1975, chaplain at Yale University; activist in the civil rights and peace movements.

Walker Evans: (1903 in Saint Louis – 1975 in New Haven)

-Important American photographer whose scenes of life during the Depression made a lasting impact on documentary photography.

Joseph Floch: (1894 in Vienna – 1977 in New York)

-Painter; moved to Paris in 1925; due to his Jewish origins, he fled to New York in 1941.

Seymour Gresser: (born in 1926 in Baltimore)

-Sculptor and author; numerous exhibitions in Europe, the US and Mexico.


-Woman mentioned in the Old Testament (Genesis 16: 1-16; 21: 8-21); Egyptian slave of Sarah, concubine of Abraham and mother of his son Ishmael; her grave is venerated by Muslims in Mecca.

John (Richard) Hersey: (1914 in Tientsin, China – 1993 in Key West)

-Journalist, war correspondent, author, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1945; political activist opposed to atomic weapons.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner: (1880 in Aschaffenburg – 1938 in Frauenkirch-Wildboden)

-Painter and graphic artist; co-founder of the artists’ association Die Brücke (the bridge); classified as “degenerate” by the Nazis; suicide.

Paula Modersohn-Becker: (1876 in Dresden – 1907 in Worpswede)

-Painter; resettled in 1898 to the Worpswede artists’ colony; the landscape of northern Germany and the peasant farmer milieu are characteristic motifs in her work.

Emil Nolde: (1867 in Nolde – 1956 in Seebüll)

-Member of Die Brücke and one of the most important German expressionists; although he was a member of the Nazi Party, his works were classified as “degenerate” and confiscated.


Office of Strategic Services, so named in 1942.

Max Pechstein: (1881 in Zwickau – 1955 in Berlin)

-Expressionist, member of Die Brücke as well as the Berliner Sezession and the Neue Sezession, and the politically active November Group; officially forbidden to paint by the Nazis.


-Mythological river forming the border between life and death

bottom of page