New Women of Spain
New Masses, November 24, 1936
Elizabeth Old’s proto-feminist empathy for women’s conditions suffuses New Women of Spain. The illustration is intended to rally female American communists and to glorify the battles of their revolutionary comrades in Spain. The brave stance of the women leading the militia group, paired with the feelings of grief embodied by the women on the right convey a range of emotions. The Spanish Civil War was a frequent subject of images and text in New Masses issues of 1936 and 1937, but no illustration besides Elizabeth Olds’ depict women’s involvement in the fight. By depicting women’s direct action in the revolutionary effort she recognizes both women’s disadvantaged social position and their strength and determination to dismantle systems of injustice.