Promote, Tolerate, Ban: Art and Culture in Cold War Hungary

Getty. Feb. 2018. 160p. ed. by Cristina Cuevas-Wolf & . illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781606065396. $49.95. FINE ARTS
The catalog of an informative exhibition about Cold War Hungarian art currently on view at the Wende Museum of the Cold War aims to bring a fresh perspective to the history of art and culture in Soviet-dominated communist Hungary. Its title refers to the cultural policy of Hungary's ruler between 1956 and 1989, János Kádár. Following the ill-fated uprising of 1956, Kádár pursued a policy that rewarded artists who adhered to the state ideology while tolerating but discouraging creatives who diverged from official cultural dictates. The book explores in academic detail and with colorful illustrations both government-sanctioned art and avant-garde efforts that resisted the status quo. Editors Cuevas-Wolf (resident historian, Wende) and Poggi (assistant curator of photographs, Getty) worked with some 600 photographs, books, and ephemera, as well as socialist-realist and modern paintings; prints and posters, and state-sponsored commercial art held in their respective collections.
VERDICT With its depth of detail, historical perspective, illustrations, and extensive footnotes, this will be of real interest to readers exploring Soviet-bloc art and the Hungarian experience in particular.
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