Tag Archive for University of Iowa

CIA viewed modern art as a ‘weapon’ in the Cold War

Jackson Pollak’s Cold War

First, came convincing proof that the the University of Iowa creative writing program benefited from funding by the CIA.

Now, says the U.K. Independent, modern art was a “weapon” deployed by the agency, and interviews with a couple of retired CIA men confirm the claim.

“Would Abstract Expressionism have been the dominant art movement of the post-war years without this patronage? The answer is probably yes. Equally, it would be wrong to suggest that when you look at an Abstract Expressionist painting you are being duped by the CIA.”

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How the CIA shaped American creative writing

Paul Engle teachng at the University of Iowa in the 1950s.

In this fascinating article for  The Chronicle of Higher Education, Eric Bennett describes the remarkable career of Paul Engle, the director of the Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop, the most celebrated and select writing program in the country.

“Between the mid-1940s and the early 1960s, Engle transformed the Writers’ Workshop from a regional curiosity into a national landmark,” Bennett writes

And he did it with money that came with ideological strings attached, including money from the CIA.

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