By Andy Croft
For over 70 years, the Communist occasion of serious Britain had a rare impression on British cultural existence, exercise a power rather out of share to its measurement or political impact. Many artwork kinds have been revitalized or profoundly replaced, new ones have been proven or formed via teams and members linked to the celebration. They introduced a dynamism and imaginative and prescient to cultural creation - no matter if in song, movie, theatre or literature - that helped lay the rules of a brand new radical tradition, a innovative avant garde within which the fight was once to provide a tradition for and of the folks, within the entrance line of the conflict of principles. This quantity recounts the histories of the artists, poets and cultural visionaries of the interval, putting them in a broader ancient context and supplying an creation to British social and cultural heritage within the twentieth century.
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Extra resources for A Weapon In The Struggle: The Cultural History of the British Communist Party
151. ‘New Challenge’ in fact appeared as Challenge. 7 E. H. Gombrich and E. Kriss, Caricature, (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1940), p. l5. 8 Arnold Rattenbury, catalogue essay, ex. cat. James Boswell: Artist Against Fascism, Manchester City Art Gallery, 1986, unpaginated. 9 Information supplied by Paul Hogarth. ), 5 on Revolutionary Art, (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1936), which has essays from Herbert Read, F. D. Klingender, Eric Gill, A. L. Lloyd and Alick West. These originated in talks organised by the AIA.
One painter I knew lost all his money and had to become a traveller in vacuum cleaners. Everyone began to be very interested in economics and then in politics. Two very talented painters who had been at the Slade with me, gave up painting altogether, one to work for the ILP, the other for the Communist Party. 4 TO DISABLE THE ENEMY 31 Despite Boswell’s disparaging appraisal of the qualities of work encouraged at the Royal College, there is no doubt that the thorough, general training in professional skills equipped its graduates to move into what was then termed ‘commercial art’ and the assumption was widely, if reluctantly, accepted that young artists should take on such work as advertising or book jacket design to support their private ambitions as ‘fine artists’ in their own time.
The attitudes of disdain and ridicule directed towards the privileged class which was to typify his caricatures for Left Review originated in a significant chance experience at this time. A family acquaintance, a member of the first Labour government, John Robert Clynes, was appointed to the office of Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the Commons, a post which entitled him to accommodation in Downing Street and Fitton became a regular guest at social functions in the presence of the social and political establishment of the day.