What & Where: Nixon Gets the Stalin Treatment

Several years before the Watergate scandal brought Richard Nixon’s presidency to an undignified end, a grateful Hungarian émigré artist memorialised the politician in an altogether more favourable light. Nixon at Andau was painted in 1970 by Ferenc Daday, who had emigrated to the United States along with many of his compatriots after the failed Hungarian Revolution of 1956. The painting recalls Nixon’s visit that year … Continue reading What & Where: Nixon Gets the Stalin Treatment

The Reclining Lenins of Ukraine

In times of revolution, political statuary often pays the price. Since Ukraine’s latest troubles began, sculptures symbolising the country’s turbulent relationship with Russia have felt the full force of the nation’s anger. A “statue war” between pro- and anti-Russian citizens foreshadowed the current crisis, with at least 12 statues of Lenin defaced in Ukraine since 2009. One of the casualties was a historic statue in the … Continue reading The Reclining Lenins of Ukraine

When Art Escaped the Cuban Revolution

After 6 years of conflict, the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista as President of Cuba on 1 January 1959 marked the end of the Cuban Revolution and the establishment of Fidel Castro’s socialist state. Sensing the imminent demise of his regime, Batista was careful to ensure his personal art collection would escape intact from the island. The collection was donated in 1957 ‘to the city and … Continue reading When Art Escaped the Cuban Revolution

Uprising Against Hungary’s Sculpture

In the words of then-Senator John F. Kennedy, ‘October 23, 1956 is a day that will live forever in the annals of free men and nations. It was a day of courage, conscience and triumph. No other day since history began has shown more clearly man’s eternally unquenchable desire to be free, whatever the odds against success, whatever the sacrifice required’. One of the most … Continue reading Uprising Against Hungary’s Sculpture