PRINT September 1972

Notes on Patronage: the 1960s

WHEN THE HISTORY OF 20th-century America is written, the period of the 1960s—which began in the late 1950s and has still not ended—will be assessed as a time of acute moral crisis characterized by a series of tragedies and upheavals which had a profound impact on the national consciousness—and consequently on art. The Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis; John Kennedy’s murder, followed later by those of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King; racial turmoil unprecedented in violence and scope; the gradual administrative and economic collapse of our cities; the growing comprehension of the almost irreversible blight upon the natural environment; the rebellion of an entire generation of youth and the consequent breakdown of our educational system; the loss of faith in the credibility of elected officials; and above all the relentless pursuit of a morally corrosive war in Asia—these

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