Perspectives USA, Number 3 (Spring 1953)
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Ed. Jacques Barzan.
Cover by Paul Rand.
Publisher “Intercultural Publications Inc.” est. by the Ford Foundation.
Perspectives USA was a quarterly magazine of art and culture with a rather particular, somewhat ironic, and perhaps insidious underlying motive (as well as benefactor, the Ford foundation): the perceived “Cultural Cold War against the Soviet Union.” Cancelled a few years after its noted lack of “effect” in Europe, this volume is from the Spring of 1953, assembling a collective identity from the kind of cultural consciousness coming out of artists and writers working in the wake of the Cuban missile crisis and Soviet leader Stalin’s death. A colour catalogue insert of Jacques Villon paintings, focus pieces on figures from Stravinsky to topics like American intellectualism, and original poetry, art criticism, book reviews and other pieces from the likes of W.H. Auden, Wallace Stevens, Lionel Trilling, and more come together to compose a truly unrepeatable collection of work––captured at a crucial historical moment, printed in and distributed to an international audience, and for a deeply curious purpose.