British Association for American Studies


CFP: Marshalling American Art: Exhibiting Ideology in the Cold War (Tate Gallery, London)

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CFP: Marshalling American Art: Exhibiting Ideology in the Cold War (Tate Gallery, London)

February 27, 2015

Call for Papers: Marshalling American Art: Exhibiting Ideology in the Cold War

Friday 1 May
London, United Kingdom

Organised by Alex Taylor, Tate and Julia Tatiana Bailey, University College London
Supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art
More at www.tate.org.uk/about/projects/refiguring-american-art-1945-80

In 1948, under the economic recovery programme known as the Marshall Plan, Europe was the recipient of some $17 billion dollars in aid from the United States. Ostensibly aimed at spurring economic growth, the initiative also sought to cement American political influence in the region, in line with the Truman administration’s wider policy of containment to prevent the spread of communism. In the decades ahead, and especially as the politics of the Cold War intensified, the cultural influence of the United States emerged as an increasingly visible and contested issue across Europe and the United Kingdom.

Exhibitions provided one crucial medium for the advancement of this strategy and a forum to debate its legitimacy. Whether in response to large and high-profile touring shows, or to smaller displays at commercial galleries, the reception of post-war American art was frequently refracted through the prism of cultural imperialism and ‘coca-colonisation’.

Beyond art exhibitions, these were debates that found further visual expression in the wide range of fairs and trade events through which Cold War ideology was put on public display.

Presented as part of the Tate Research project Refiguring American Art 1945-1980, this workshop will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars from fields including art history, American studies, politics and international relations to present new research into exhibitions of American art and visual culture during the Cold War. Possible topics include:

• Global exhibition histories of American art
• Institutional and governmental frameworks for American art exhibits
• Ideological and political dimensions for transnational exhibitions
• Art in embassies and other cultural diplomacy practices
• American participation in post-war biennales and art fairs
• The American image at world’s fairs and trade exhibitions
• Private, commercial and corporate motives for American art exhibitions
• Touring exhibitions and international trade relations
• The domestic impact of global exhibitions of American art and culture
• Criticisms and rebuttals of American exhibitions during the Cold War
• American artists and the politics of international cultural exchange.

Abstracts due 27 February 2015.
Speakers notified by 6 March 2015.
Papers should be 15–20 minutes in length.

To propose a paper, please email an abstract of 200 words or less and a 50-word biography in a single Word document to alex.taylor@tate.org.uk by 27 February 2015.


February 27, 2015
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Alex Taylor, Tate and Julia Tatiana Bailey, University College London


London, SE1 9TG United Kingdom
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