Recommended: Cold War Bunkers – East and West

Recently the public got its first glance inside Albania’s most important Cold War era bunker, located just outside the Albanian capital of Tirana. Built 100m below ground between 1972 and 1978, the top secret complex boasts 106 rooms over five storeys. It also features a bedroom with red satin sheets for former communist dictator Enver Hoxha, as the bunker was intended to house the government … Continue reading Recommended: Cold War Bunkers – East and West

Featured Artist: Henry Moore

Having survived the horror of the World War I trenches as a teenager, celebrated English sculptor Henry Moore (1898–1986) continued to respond to the dramatic historical events he witnessed throughout his lifetime. During the Cold War, Moore’s work was infused with the tensions of the era and his anxiety about the development of atomic weapons. In this strange new world Moore’s familiar combination of the … Continue reading Featured Artist: Henry Moore

Unforgettable Pictures of Hiroshima

The atombic bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 set the scene of the nuclear anxieties of the Cold War. Yet while the world would at moments come to the brink of nuclear war, the devastation wrought in Japan remains a unique tragedy. In May 1974 an old man walked in to the Japan Broadcasting Corporation studio in Hiroshima with … Continue reading Unforgettable Pictures of Hiroshima

The Artistic Rehabilitation of Oppenheimer

On 18 February 1967, legendary physicist and “father of the atomic bomb” J. Robert Oppenheimer passed away. After the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States demonstrated the terrible power of Oppenheimer’s creation, the scientist reflected that “Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds“. His obvious torment at the destruction he had unleashed, together with his communist connections, led the … Continue reading The Artistic Rehabilitation of Oppenheimer

Exhibition of the Month: Damage Control

The spectre of Cold War looms large in the Hirshhorn’s latest exhibition, Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950. The start date of its chronology points to an initial focus on the trauma of destruction in the immediate aftermath of World War II, and anxieties about the strange new world that rose from its ashes. Initial feelings of panic in the face of human fragility, … Continue reading Exhibition of the Month: Damage Control

British Art in the Nuclear Age

It was recently announced that next year will see the publication of a groundbreaking new book entitled British Art in the Nuclear Age (Ashgate, 2014). And ESPIONART can’t wait! The book will comprise nine essays exploring how art and visual culture in the UK responded to the rise of atomic power and the threat of nuclear warfare. A chapter by the book’s editor, Dr Catherine Jolivette, will … Continue reading British Art in the Nuclear Age