Art in Defence of the Rosenbergs

The execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg at sundown on 19 June 1953 was one of the darkest moments in recent US history. The married couple were the only American civilians to be put to death for espionage-related activity during the Cold War, after they were convicted of passing top secret information to the Soviets. Their deaths left their two young sons orphaned. It was … Continue reading Art in Defence of the Rosenbergs

Conspiracy: The Artist as Witness

The sensational trial of the Chicago Seven, which lasted almost a year from 1969 to 1970, became a focal point for campaigns against American involvement in the Vietnam War. The seven defendants were charged with conspiracy to incite violence and riots relating to the countercultural protests that took place outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention from 26 to 29 August. For five days and nights, … Continue reading Conspiracy: The Artist as Witness

Andy Warhol and the Cult of Mao

On 1 October 1949 Mao Zedong proclaimed the foundation of the People’s Republic of China, with himself as its sole leader. A highly-controversial figure, at turn venerated and castigated, Chairman Mao conspired in his own mythologisation by developing an all-encompassing cult of personality. In 1972 Andy Warhol produced a series of prints entitled Mao to coincide with US President Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China. Warhol … Continue reading Andy Warhol and the Cult of Mao