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Earth Day 2023— Poster of the Week

The Thinker

Ray Osrin

Offset, 1970

Cleveland, Ohio


Saturday is the 53rd anniversary of the first Earth Day. On April 22, 1970, 20 million people took to the streets and attended teach-ins throughout the U.S. to learn about how human actions—and the corporate drive for profits—were destroying the environment.

Without climate activists organizing to protect the environment, legislation such as the Clean Air Act (1970) and Clean Water Act (1972), would never have been passed. Factories would have continued freely emitting black clouds of toxic smoke, polluting the air we breathe, and filling our lakes, oceans, and rivers with garbage. We continue to fight pollution, and still have a long way to go—but imagine how much worse it would have been.

CSPG’s Poster of the Week, originally printed in 1970 for the first Earth Day,

features a reinterpretation of Auguste Rodin’s iconic “The Thinker” sculpture (1904) as a modern man wearing a gas mask, a grim prediction even with environmental protections.

This poster will be included in CSPG’s upcoming exhibition Taking Museums to the Streets: Using Fine Art for Protest. Every poster appropriates and repurposes earlier masterpieces to focus on diverse issues including anti-nuclear, anti-war, censorship, disabled rights, ecology, HIV/AIDS, homophobia, sexism, and women’s rights. The exhibition will be on display May 20 through July 9, 2023 at Mercado la Paloma in South Los Angeles.



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