L’Art pour l’Art or L’Art pour Tous? The Tension Between Artistic Autonomy and Social Engagement in Les Temps Nouveaux, 1896–1903

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Between 1896 and 1903, Jean Grave, editor of the anarchist journal Les Temps Nouveaux, published an artistic album of original prints, with the collaboration of (avant-garde) artists and illustrators. While anarchist theorists, including Grave, summoned artists to create social art, which had to be didactic and accessible to the working classes, artists wished to emphasize their autonomous position instead. Even though Grave requested 'absolutely artistic' prints in the case of this album, artists had difficulties with creating something for him, trying to combine their social engagement with their artistic autonomy. The artistic album appears to have become a compromise of the debate between the anarchist theorists and artists with anarchist sympathies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-126
JournalInternational Journal of History, Modernity and Culture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

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