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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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“An Unwanted Guest in America,” 1953–1961

“An Unwanted Guest in America,” 1953–1961

(p.176) 10 “An Unwanted Guest in America,” 1953–1961
Victor Arnautoff and the Politics of Art

Robert W. Cherny

University of Illinois Press

Arnautoff became more isolated in the 1950s. In 1955, he made national news when he was asked to remove a cartoon criticizing McCarthyism from an art show. The event brought a subpoena from the House Un-American Activities Committee and two hearings at Stanford to determine if he should be terminated. In a decision extending academic freedom, the faculty committee did not recommend termination. The California Labor School and the Russian American Society both closed down, and the Communist party shrunk significantly. Victor and Lydia again applied to emigrate to the Soviet Union, were accepted, and traveled there as tourists. Upon returning to the U.S., Lydia died in a car accident.

Keywords:   academic freedom, House Un-American Activities Committee, McCarthyism, Stanford University

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