Good Lord Give Me Peace
Lithograph on cream wove paper.
Edition unknown, but certainly small.
Signed in pencil.
Very fine impression in pristine condition.
Image: 11 x 8 3/8 inches.
Joseph Paul Vorst (1897-1947) is the incarnation of adaptability in the face of adversity. Born in Essen, Vorst was drafted to serve in World War I and was injured, resulting in a permanent limp. After the war, he started his artistic studies at the preeminent Folkwang Schule (then named Essener Handwerker-und Kunstgewerbeschule, today named Folkwang Universität der Künste). Vorst seems to have taught at the Folkwang for a while, before moving to Berlin where he enrolled at the Akademie der Künste zu Berlin. There he was taught by masters such as Max Lieberman and Max Slevogt. In 1924 Joseph Vorst was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and he emigrated to the United States in 1930, at the onset of The Great Depression. Vorst recalled the spirit of unrest in Germany and happily settled in Saint-Louis. He soon embraced the subjects of Social Realism at a time when poverty and hardship were rampant, and he adopted the style of Regionalist painters, who then prevailed in that American artistic landscape. Actively engaged in the Works Progress Administration, Vorst painted murals, taught art, painted for himself, and turned his talent to a great number of varied endeavors, all the while still active in his spare time in the Mormon Church. Vorst died of an aneurysm at the age of 50. He is remembered for paintings, murals, and prints in which the plight of the downtrodden feature prominently. While religious subject matters appear in his oeuvre, prayer, hope, compassion, and other Christian themes are explored mostly in secular settings. It is also noteworthy that Vorst depicted African Americans nearly as frequently as he depicted White Americans, simply interested in a shared humanity.