[ONLINE] Greetings to the Liberated, or, The Periodical as Propaganda - The Courtauld Institute of Art

[ONLINE] Greetings to the Liberated, or, The Periodical as Propaganda

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[ONLINE] Greetings to the Liberated, or, The Periodical as Propaganda


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Unknown artist, ‘Liberty! Egality! Fraternity!’, postcard to commemorate the February Revolution, Petrograd, 1917.

  • Wednesday 21 October 2020
    PLEASE NOTE: This Date Has Passed
    5:30 pm - 6:30 pm



  • Samuel Bibby - Managing Editor, 'Art History'

Organised by

  • Dr Caroline Levitt - Lecturer and Graduate Diploma Programme Coordinator, The Courtauld Institute of Art

This is a live online event.  

Please register for more details. The platform and log in details will be sent to attendees at least 48 hours before the event. Please note that registration closes 30 minutes before the event start time.  

If you have not received the log in details or have any further queries, please contact researchforum@courtauld.ac.uk. 


Thematic special issues have long been a mainstay of art-historical periodicals. Magazines such asApollo, for example, would month on month present to their readers collections of articles focusing on topics which their editors felt were of current importance. 1978 saw the appearance of a new title in the field, theOxford Art Journal, which from the fore dedicated itself to the publication of such collections of material. But whilst those magazines intimately allied with the market brought out special issues on subjects such as the history of collecting and taste, theOxford Art Journal, by contrast, pursued new directions with the intention of addressing those problems that face the more wide-ranging ambitions of the social history of art. This paper examines in depth one such thematic collection, dedicated to the topic of propaganda, which came out in October 1980. Considering the periodicals beginnings as a title originating from, as well being addressed to, a specific place and its inhabitants, the university city of Oxford, the subsequent radical agenda that it adopted is set against the backgrounds of both other magazines, in distinction to which it wished to be seen, and also the conservative cultural context from which it emerged. I argue that this special issue of theOxford Art Journalmust be thought of as not simply taking the idea of propaganda as its subject matter, but should also be viewed, in terms of its form, through its complex engagement with, for example, advertising, itself a propagandistic medium. In so doing, I put forward a model for approaching the art-historical periodical as embodying the politics of its visual and material nature. 

Samuel Bibby is Managing Editor of the journalArt History. He is currently working onArt History as Things Seen: The New Art Historiography, a project which looks at art magazines and art-historical periodicals from 1970s Britain. 

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