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pleiades's avatar

Do you believe the CIA fronted the American Abstract Expressionism movement?

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LostInParadise's avatar

It is hard to imagine the CIA as being so progressive in its thinking. Can you imagine the FBI under J Edgar Hoover acting in the same way? It is more likely that Hoover would have described abstract artists as a bunch of commie perverts bent on destroying the country. Maybe the CIA is more advanced than I give them credit for.

Strauss's avatar

I think the CIA was much more progressive in a lot of areas than many people realize. The article makes mention of the liberal bent of many of the staff of the then-new agency, being graduates from the likes of Yale and Harvard. The article quotes a former case officer, Donald Jameson: “Regarding Abstract Expressionism, I’d love to be able to say that the CIA invented it just to see what happens in New York and downtown SoHo tomorrow!” he joked.

I think the CIA at that time (as it most likely is and should be today) was using everything at its disposal to fulfil its mission.

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