“The Ashcan Goes to War: George Bellows, Belligerence, and the Rape of Belgium” by David Lubin

May 17, 2017
Taylor Institution Library, University of Oxford

From the premise that the history of America’s art is inseparable from the history of the nation, David Lubin, Charlotte C. Weber Professor of Art at Wake Forest University and Terra Foundation Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford (2016–17), has demonstrated throughout his career how events of national import have tested the resolve and creativity of American artists. Lubin has developed this argument most notably in the publications Picturing a Nation (Yale, 1994), Shooting Kennedy (California, 2003), and Grand Illusions: American Art and the First World War (Oxford, 2016) and the exhibition World War I and American Art (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, New-York Historical Society, and Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, 2016–18), which he co-curated.

Within the context of his graduate course at the University of Oxford, Lubin delivered a series of four public lectures, which considered the interplay of the fine arts and popular culture in iconic works of American art produced in memorial sculpture, book illustration, propaganda imagery, and photojournalism during a period stretching from the 1890s to the 1960s. “The Ashcan Goes to War: George Bellows, Belligerence, and the Rape of Belgium” is the third of these lectures—please click here to view the entire presentation on the University of Oxford website.