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Students in Mr. Lazzaro's Upper School American History class are studying muckrakers in the 20th century - individuals who searched for and tried to explore real or alleged corruption, scandal, and other wrongdoing, especially in politics. The original muckrakers were journalists who exposed child labor, sweatshops, poor living and working conditions, and government inefficiency in the early 20th century.

Assigned with making a piece of art depicting one muckraker, students worked thoughtfully and creatively resulting in some impressive pieces. The students then chose four top pieces, shared below with the students' descriptions of their work.

Christina Phipps '25

Student American History project 2024

"In creating this art piece inspired by Robert Herrick's novel "The Web of Life," I aimed to artistically portray the interconnectedness within his life and the endless cycle that follows. My initial goal was to illustrate what Herrick was conveying in his novel, using different parts of his life and professional as the main focus, visually entangled within a web while symbolizing the cycle life goes through."

Ryan Byrne '25

Student American History project 2024

"I wanted to make a political cartoon depicting a meeting emulating a 'parent-teacher' conference where Florence Kelley is seen as a teacher showing the world what has happened. Florence Kelley was a muckraker who exposed cruel conditions, especially for immigrants, in the workplace, unsafe and harmful child labor, as well as a lack of rights for women. In the image, she exposes various issues that take place in civilians' places of work and the world." 


Shae Falconer '25

Student American History project 2024

"Frances Kellor was a woman who loved her woman and fought for her. She supported all women, regardless of their moral or racial background. This included women who were immigrants, African Americans, unemployed, imprisoned, and most of all, women who loved women."


Will Bland '25

Student American History project 2024

"I wanted to create a piece depicting Frank Norris’s political commentary novel, The Octopus: A Story of California. The Octopus in the drawing represents an expose of the corrupt railroad company’s unfair price gouging on farms where they did not invest stock."

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