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One World AdvAncing AmericAn Art, modernism, And internAtionAl diplomAcy

mark andrew white

the critical history of Advancing American Art has focused primarily on the national controversy created by the conservative press, members of Congress, and the executive branch. Although previous criticism has helped preserve the history of the project and its role in the cultural politics of the United States, authors have been less concerned with how it informed, and was informed by, American global aspirations in the postwar period. Advancing American Art hoped to foster cultural goodwill abroad, and the State Department, in its promotional statements, emphasized individualism and freedom of expression as demonstrable values of the exhibition by arguing that “Only in a democracy where the full development of the individual is not only permitted but fostered could such an exhibition be assembled.”1 The exhibition was one of a number of important cultural programs endorsed by Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs William Benton and informed indirectly by politician Wendell Willkie’s influential book One World, which emphasized international cooperation and cultural exchange in the wake of World War II. A cursory examination of the checklist of Advancing American Art reveals that the art 30

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Art Interrupted Catalog Preview  

Buy the full exhibition catalog at Muse. http://www.ou.edu/content/fjjma/shop/ExhibitionCatalogs.html

Art Interrupted Catalog Preview  

Buy the full exhibition catalog at Muse. http://www.ou.edu/content/fjjma/shop/ExhibitionCatalogs.html