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Art and Capitalism

A Peep into the Art World

 The Financial Times (27/4/55) has an article under the title "High Prices for Venetians"; dealing with the spectacular rise in prices of works of art sold in London Sale Rooms, instancing a painting by Canaletto £10,500, a pair of F. Guardi £9,000, one by Zuccarrelli £1,900, one by F. Post “View in Brazil 1661” £1,650, and a very fine copy of Audubon’s “Birds of America,” published 1827-1838, £9,200. These prices represent a ten to 20 times increase in the last 10 to 20 years. What a fine racket thinks the speculator, better than whiskey, or bomb making.

Socialism and Art

 “The whole way along, Capitalism has stifled Art and tortured the artist. For Art there has been a cramped and narrowed existence; for the artist starvation during his best years, and fame when he was too old to enjoy it. There never was a system which was so noxious to Art as this of Capitalism. All the accusations that it hurls at Socialism will rebound with redoubled vigour against its own lying head. The most inconceivably unrefined Socialistic state could not do worse than degrade Art and starve the artist. What will the ordinary Socialist State of our dreams do?    
  “Firstly, with regard to your genuises. Well, the bureau idea is a rotten one.

The Age of Discontent

In an age such as ours, in an age, that is, which is the necessary preliminary (long or short) of a drastic social change, there must inevitably be a distinct and increasing tendency for people to adopt a critical, to a large extent a negative, attitude towards all social institutions and activities. No matter in what sphere of life one may move, it will be found that the evils of Capitalism, no longer hidden, but becoming more and more glaringly insistent, are the theme for attack even amongst the most superficially-minded people. Among members of the working-class, of all descriptions, whether they be manual workers, on managerial and clerical staffs, civil and domestic servants, housewives, writers, artists, and scientists, is to be found a sense of dissatisfaction, more or less articulate, with things as they are.

Exhibition Review: The ABC of Capitalism

‘We live in a capitalist world. Capitalism defines our society, economy, politics and culture. However, it’s not a school subject in the UK or any other capitalist country.’ So runs the publicity for an exhibition ‘The ABC of Capitalism’ by Riiko Sakkinen, currently on display at Bury Art Museum, which is also described as containing ‘the School of Capitalism for kids’. This sounds potentially intriguing, but it all turns out to be a bit of a let-down.

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