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Title: Forms of persuasion : art and business in the 1960s
Author: Taylor, Alex J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5365 3259
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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In the 1960s, art and business engaged in a sweeping but now largely forgotten romance. Corporations rushed to install art in their foyers and on their urban plazas. Many bought or commissioned works of art to display inside their factories and offices. They reproduced art in their advertisements and annual reports, and profiled it in press stunts and photo ops. They developed promotional art exhibitions that toured across the country and around the world. This dissertation considers how such artworks supported – but also sometimes disrupted – the marketing, public relations, lobbying and personnel strategies of large-scale corporate enterprise. By reconstructing this diverse field, this dissertation contends that art was a key tool for the burgeoning ‘persuasion industry’ of the sixties. Both in the United States and further afield, artists and businesses worked together to make artworks function as ‘forms of persuasion’, instruments by which the consensus of the corporation’s constituents – workers, consumers and regulators – could be secured. The case studies focus on range of companies active in this field, exploring the phenomenon in three thematic chapters, covering the use of pop art by the packaged goods business, the role of abstract painting in the workplace and the value of metal sculpture for the steel industry. It is argued that the practices described through these examples represent a defining cultural phenomena of sixties art, one that challenges the conventional art historical alignment of its avant-garde with the decade’s famed radical politics, protest and counterculture.
Supervisor: Johnson, Geraldine A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Art ; History of art and visual culture ; Corporate collecting ; art and advertising ; art - modern ; art - American ; art - 1960s