Modern Art in Cold War Beirut
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Modern Art in Cold War Beirut: Drawing Alliances examines the entangled histories of modern art and international politics during the decades of the 1950s and 60s.
Positing the Cold War as a globalized conflict, fraught with different political ideologies and intercultural exchanges, this study asks how these historical circumstances shaped local debates in Beirut over artistic pedagogy, the social role of the artist, the aesthetics of form, and, ultimately, the development of a national art. Drawing on a range of archival material and taking an interdisciplinary approach that combines Art History, Middle Eastern, and Cold War studies, Sarah Rogers argues that the genealogies of modern art can never be understood as isolated, national histories, but rather that they participate in an ever contingent global modernism.
This book will be of particular interest to scholars in art history, contemporary art, and Middle East studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Modern Art in Lebanon: The Problematics of Forging an Authentic, National Art 1. Beirut as Cultural Capital: Cosmopolitanism in the Shadow of the Cold War 2. An Artistic Coup: Maryette Charlton and the Founding of the American University of Beirut’s Department of Fine Arts 3. The Artist as Cultural Diplomat: John Ferren in Beirut, 1963-64 4. Abstraction’s Universalist Assumptions: Local Debates on the Practice of Art 5. Figuration, International Alliances, and Palestinian Art in Beirut: The Painting of Tamam al-Akhal and Ismail Shammout Conclusion. Lessons from the Cold War and the Possibilities of Global Modernism
Sarah Rogers, PhD is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art and Architecture at Middlebury College.