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Victor Arnautoff and the Politics of Art$
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Robert W. Cherny

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040788

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040788.001.0001

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King of Parilia, 1935–1941

King of Parilia, 1935–1941

(p.106) 7 King of Parilia, 1935–1941
Victor Arnautoff and the Politics of Art

Robert W. Cherny

University of Illinois Press

Between 1935 and 1941, Arnautoff reached the high point of his artistic career, receiving a large WPA-funded commission at George Washington High School, a smaller commission at the California School of Fine Arts, and commissions for five New-Deal post-office murals. He joined the Stanford University faculty in 1938. The artist members of the Art Association elected him as their representative on the board, and he received other, similar recognition. He and Lydia became citizens in 1937 and joined the Communist party soon after. Unknown to them, the NKVD executed his father, uncle, and cousin in 1938 during Stalin’s Great Terror. By 1941, Arnautoff was one of the most influential members of the city’s arts community, and his influence extended well beyond the city’s boundaries.

Keywords:   Communist party, George Washington High School (San Francisco) murals, New-Deal post-office murals, WPA

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