PRC Under Mao

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"Art comes from a life of struggle; the working people are the masters."  source

Committed to a more egalitarian social and economic order, Mao Zedong and other leaders of the Communist Party set about fashioning a new China, one that would empower peasants and workers and limit the influence of landlords, capitalists, intellectuals, and foreigners.  Spreading these ideas was the mission of the propaganda departments and teams.  Political posters, reproduced from paintings, woodcuts, and other media, were displayed prominently in classrooms, offices, and homes.  The artists who produced these works had to follow the guidelines set by Mao Zedong at the 1942 Yanan Forum for Literature and Art.  Art was to serve politics and further the revolutionary cause. Toward that end, it must be appealing and accessible to the masses.  Artists, previously fairly independent from politics, were now a key component in the revolutionary machine.  “Cultural workers” were sent out to villages and factories to study folk art and learn from real life.  In addition, workers and peasants were encouraged to attend art schools and create artwork of their own.

Leaders and Role Models

Science and Technology

Youth and Education

Cultural Revolution