The Role of Artists’ Collectives in Producing State Socialist Art in 1950s Romania the Bottom-Up, Pragmatic Professionalization of State Commissions

This article analyzes the collective basis of the establishment of the Socialist Realist model of production for the fine arts in Romania in the early 1950s. It discusses the unstudied case of the “artists’ collectives” (of production) together with other collective forms, such as the collective studios and the guiding commissions. This is an archive-based study of cultural institutionalism of socialist regimes, based on the analysis of under-explored archival sources such as those of the Romanian Artists’ Union (UAP) or the Artistic Fund (FP). Focusing on two specific case studies, those of the artists’ collectives “Progressive art” and “Th. Aman”, both founded in 1951, it provides more context to the establishment of the socialist model in Romania. The article finds the state assumed definition of art considered the artist as a simple executioner, and the “artists’ collectives” participated in eradicating the individuality of the artist, one of the goals of the new socialist model.

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