Using a mix of art, military, and intellectual history, Cynthia Saltzman argues that controlling art is a powerful way to control hearts and minds.
Napoléon Bonaparte reportedly rode over 130 horses during his 14-year reign, but only one ended up as taxidermy: the Arabian stallion named le Vizir.
In late 18th-century Britain, etched cartoons and caricatures abounded, poking fun at kings, noblemen, society ladies, French revolutionaries, the institution of marriage, and countless other people and things.
Museums around Europe have rallied a troop of artifacts to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo’s 200th anniversary.
As a way to guide public opinion to a collective obedience, governments around the world have employed art. These visual modes of propaganda can be powerful and moving, and they haven’t disappeared, as proved by the playing cards showing members of Saddam Hussein’s regime distributed by the US during the 2003 Iraq invasion. The British Library in London is opening an exhibition that examines extensively this tradition of control.
This week on Required Reading … a look back to Napoleon in Egypt … a history of mural whitewashing in Los Angeles … the preservation of the Watts Towers … Steven Heller tracks dowing the master style guide to the Master Race … what is “The Future of Art” … are you ready for the Singularity?