Navigation – Plan du site
Dialogues artistiques avec les passés de l'Égypte - Mercedes Volait et Emmanuelle Perrin (dir.)
Fortunes plastiques et politiques de l'art des Anciens Égyptiens

Golden Flies: Egypt’s Pharaonic Past in Multiple Mirrors

Elizabeth Bishop

Texte intégral

  • 1  William J. Burns, Economic Aid and American Policy toward Egypt, 1955-1981, Albany: SUNY Press, 19 (...)
  • 2  “Saturday, 9 May 1964,” The Scribe/Arab Review, August 1964, p. 51.

1General secretary of the USSR’s Communist Party N. S. Khrushchev paid an official visit to Egypt to celebrate the completion of the first stage of the Aswan High Dam in May 1964;1 Egypt’s president Gamal Abdul Nasser served as tour guide, escorting the nation’s guest on an excursion to the Egyptian Museum.2 Following numerous chains of signification for these two men’s tour enable us to address Egypt’s Pharaonic past in multiple mirrors.

  • 3  Thomas Schneider, “Egypt and the Levant,” in Joan Aruz et al., Beyond Babylon: Art, Trade, and Dip (...)
  • 4   Garciela N. Gestoso Singer, “Queen Ahhotep and the ‘Golden Fly,’” Cahiers Caribéens d’Égyptologi (...)

2While touring the Egyptian Museum, Nasser drew his guest’sattention to objects on display: three gold representations of flies, joined by a chain (CG 52671),dating from the second intermediate period’s 17th Dynasty. The current catalog description characterizes these as “stylized flies formed of plaques of gold with two bulgingeyes and an open work body.” These had been excavated from the tomb of Queen Ahhotep I (ca. 1560-1530 BC), consort to King Skenenra Taa II; both King Kamose and King Ahmose I were her children. When Kamose died during a struggle against the Hyksos, his brother Ahmose ascended to the throne, and Queen Ahhotep served as regent until he came of age. A stele in the temple of Amun-Re at Karnak identified Queen Ahhotep as, “Princess, king’s mother, noblewoman who knows things and takes care of Egypt”;3 the stele further commemorated her role in the war against the Hyksos, stating, “she is the one who has accomplished the rites and taken care of Egypt; she has looked after Egypt’s troops and she has guarded them, she brought back the fugitives and collected together the deserters, pacified Upper Egypt and expelled her rebels.”4

  • 5  Abeer El-Shahawy, The Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Cairo: Farid Atiya Press, 2005, p. 151.
  • 6  “Catalog Part C., Various Dates,” in Christine Lilyquist et al., The Tomb of Three Foreign Wives o (...)
  • 7  Ibid., p. 84.
  • 8  Hope B. Werness, Continuum Encyclopedia of Animal Symbolism in World Art, New York: Continuum, 200 (...)
  • 9  Gene Kritsky and Ron H. Cherry, Insect Mythology, San Jose: Writers Club Press, 2000, p.61.

3When Ahhotep died, she was buried with extraordinary funerary jewelry, including three gold pendants in the form of flies.5 About the size of an outstretched human hand, they are “flat and simple, with only the head and wings delineated.”6 Semantically, flies are connected with vanquished enemies. Found on battlefields where blood has been shed, the hieroglyphic determinative sign for the noun “fly” (‘ff), the verb “to fly” (‘ff), and the phoneme “aff” (‘ff) signifying both “rejection” and “bother,” are all connected with the idea of shooing away enemies.7 At the same time, flies represent a martial idea; like them, soldiers should be numerous, persistent, and impossible to ward off.8 Biting insects represented military valor and tenacity; both the fly and the exemplary general returned to torment their victims.9

  • 10  Ibid., p. 77.
  • 11 Garciela N. Gestoso Singer, “Queen Ahhotep and the ‘Golden Fly,’” op. cit. (note 4).
  • 12  Wendy Christensen, Empire of Ancient Egypt, rev. ed., New York: Chelsea House, 2009, p. 73.
  • 13 Robert Morkot, Historical Dictionary of Ancient Egyptian Warfare, Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2003, p. (...)
  • 14  Steven R. David, “Realism, Constructivism, and the Amarna Letters,” in Raymond Cohen and Raymond W (...)
  • 15  Betsy M. Bryan, “Administration in the Reign of Thutmose III,” in Eric H. Cline and David B. O’Con (...)

4To find such a military award in the jewelry collection of a queen is exceptional,10 although these pendants are not entirely unique. On display in the same museum are also smaller gold and silver Dipterae. A necklace with thirty-three small pendants was found in the tomb of Thutmose III’s three wives.11 During the New Kingdom, Egypt’s military was in the process of becoming a privileged, prosperous class, representing one of the few paths to status and wealth for a young man born in poverty.12 Similar pendants were awards presented to commanders of victorious armies. In his autobiography, General Ahmose-pen-Nekhbet recorded, “King Thutmose I gave to me of gold: four bracelets, four necklaces, one amulet, six flies, three lions, two golden axes.”13 Royal Butler Suemniwet also received a golden fly; his tomb (Theban, no. 92) depicted war materiel, including Syrian-style helmets, armor, chariots, and weapons.14 Royal messenger Dedi wore a golden fly with striding lions (Thebian, no. 200), an award that (according to the Annals of Thutmose III) he had received during Syrian campaigns.15

  • 16  Michael Podro, The Critical Historians of Art, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982, p. 2-3.
  • 17  Frances Stonor Saunders, Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War, London: Granta Boo (...)

5In his discussion of ancient Egyptian art’s reception according to the critical standards of Hellenic antiquity, Michael Podro points to a key issue for art history: can the art of one culture be understood by another as “art”? “Appreciation of the artistry of artwork, enjoyment of the way it transformed its ritual or symbolic material, does not enable us to overcome the problem of cultural difference.”16 Acknowledging that Frances Stonor Saunders identified institutional bases for cultural politics of the Cold War,17 this essay places Queen Ahhotep’s golden flies at the center of the problem of militarization and cultural difference during World War II and the following two decades.

  • 18  Dawn Langley Simmons and Ann Pinchot, Jacqueline Kennedy: A Biography, New York: Signet, 1966, p.  (...)
  • 19  “Treasures of the Kennedy Library to be Displayed,” Prologue: The Journal of the National Archives(...)
  • 20  Muḥammad Ḥasanayn Haykal, Sphinx and Commissar: The Rise and Fall of Soviet Influence in the Arab (...)

6In the postcolonial era, the global circulation of Pharaonic antiquities reflected that of advanced weapons systems, as the servants of Egypt’s state exported antiquities from the postcolonial Nile Valley at a rate that rivaled nineteenth-century imperialism’s treasure hunt. As state gifts, a striding male figure from 2400 BC went to US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy;18 her husband received a hand-carved ivory model of an ancientbarge.19 A vase excavated at Sakkara went to the chair of the USSR Communist Party N. S. Khrushchev, who (it was said) set it on the table in the middle of a Supreme Soviet meeting.20

  • 21  Rami Ginat, “Nasser and the Soviets; A Reassessment,” in Elie Podeh and Onn Winckler, Rethinking N (...)

7Khrushchev’s 1964 Cairo visit represented the culmination of improvement in the relationship between the two countries.21 Closer scrutiny reveals that this museum visit performs important contextual work for art history and criticism. This essay identifies multiple “mirrors” for Egypt’s Pharaonic artifacts. Noting that both the (temporary) museum docent and his (civilian) guest had extensive wartime experience, this discussion will interweave the multiple (and even contradictory) significations of Queen Ahhotep’s golden flies with those of the two men’s military careers.

8A generation older than his host, Khrushchev had been promoted in 1928 to the organization department of the Communist Party’s district committee in Kiev, at the beginning of what subsequently came to be known as the Holodomor, the “Ukrainian famine.” While Soviet authorities had procured 7.2 million tons of wheat from the 1931 harvest, the following year yielded only 4.3 million tons. In towns, the authorities cut citizens’ access to rations, while popular propaganda portrayed peasants as counterrevolutionaries who hid grain and potatoes from the workers. By February 1933, the Dnipropetrovsk, Kiev (where Khrushchev was a young Party employee), and Odessa districts were most affected, reporting starvation, typhus, and malaria; in April, Kharkhiv reported mass deaths from starvation.

9Gold, and the militarization of its transfer, can be held responsible for the famine. Refusing to accept specie payments after 1925, the USSR’s Ministry of Foreign Trade was left bartering oil, timber, and grain for imports. When the UK prohibited imports of Soviet butter, petroleum, and timber in April 1933, the Ministry was left paying for the nation’s imports in grain—until London banned barley and wheat, too, in July 1933. At the same time, the instigation of collective agriculture in the Ukrainian SSR imposed new crops, such as cotton and sugar beets. Many agricultural managers (like Khrushchev) were inexperienced; as a result, many farms’ grain was left standing in the fields, or was lost in processing, transportation, and storage. By the end of 1933, millions of people had starved to death in the Ukraine and surrounding areas. In addition to the toll on human lives, perhaps two million horses, four million head of cattle, six million sheep, and five million swine were slaughtered, died of disease, or starved. By the end of that terrible year, Khrushchev was promoted to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU).

10The Party also bears responsibility. CPSU chair Iosif Vissarionovich Jugashvili, “Stalin,” sent Khrushchev (as chair of the Council of People’s Commissars), along with Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov and Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov (who, at the time, was head of the party’s department of special affairs, department of personnel, and department of industry) to the Ukraine. Their orders were to liquidate both the local parliament and the local party leadership. In both tasks they failed, at least initially. The republic’s central committee plenum rejected Khrushchev’s bid to serve as their general secretary. In response, all seventeen members of Premier Lubchenko’s government were taken into custody; of sixty members of the republic’s party’s central committee and its candidate members, only three survived. Khrushchev was appointed “general secretary” of a central committee of the Ukrainian party that had ceased to exist. He and his associates were prepared to use such tactics to extend the USSR’s western border.

  • 22 Jeremy Smith, Red Nations: The Nationalities Experience in and after the USSR, Cambridge/New York: (...)
  • 23  Jan Tomasz Gross, Revolution from Abroad: The Soviet Conquest of Poland’s Western Ukraine and West (...)
  • 24 Ibid., p. 176.
  • 25  Andrzej Paczkowski, The Spring Will Be Ours: Poland and the Poles from Occupation to Freedom, Univ (...)
  • 26  Marci Shore, Caviar and Ashes: A Warsaw Generation’s Life and Death in Marxism, 1918-1968, New Hav (...)
  • 27 David Stahel, Kiev 1941: Hitler’s Battle for Supremacy in the East, Cambridge/New York: Cambridge U (...)
  • 28  Martin van Creveld, Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton, Cambridge/New York: Cambr (...)
  • 29  Simon Adams, The Eastern Front, New York: Rosen Publishing, 2009, p. 24.
  • 30  Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev and Sergeĭ Khrushchev, Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev: Commissar, 1918- (...)

11Shortly afterwards, Soviet troops entered Polish territory in accordance with the terms of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.22 There, the Red Army set up “provisional administrations” in urban areas and “peasant communities” in the countryside to organize elections.23 Khrushchev continued to serve as general secretary of the Ukraine’s Communist Party.24 Through a combination of propaganda, single-candidate ballots, and fraud, they formed a “People’s Assembly of Western Ukraine.”25 Khrushchev and other representatives of the Ukrainian SSR addressed this assembly, which then voted unanimously to thank Stalin for liberation, requesting formal inclusion in the Ukrainian SSR.26 On June 22, 1941, nearly three-quarters of a million Axis soldiers and their allies exploded across the western border,27 entering the country both north and south of the Pripet Marshes simultaneously.28 Weakened by famine, towns and villages welcomed German troops as liberators.29 Marshal Semyon Mikhailovich Budyonny (Commander-in-Chief of Soviet armed forces of the Southwestern Direction), and General Semyon Konstantinovich Timoshenko (recently transferred from Smolensk) supported Khrushchev. In his memoirs, he recalled: “several times Timoshenko and I went out to visit the troops… as I recall, we went out into the area west of Poltava. There we had a mechanized group commanded by General Feklenko. When Feklenko saw us his eyes literally popped, out of surprise or fear. We asked him to report on the situation. He reported briefly and immediately said: ‘you’ve got to get away from here, and hurry!’ The situation was so difficult that he could not be sure of our safety.”30

  • 31  Simon Sebag Montefiore, Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, New York: Knopf, 2004, p. 381.
  • 32  Karel C. Berkhoff, Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine Under Nazi Rule, Cambridge: Harva (...)
  • 33 Timothy J. Colton, Commissars, Commanders, and Civilian Authority: The Structure of Soviet Military (...)
  • 34  John Mosier, Deathride. Hitler vs. Stalin: The Eastern Front, 1941-1945, New York: Simon and Schus (...)
  • 35  Vasily Grossman, A Writer at War: A Soviet Journalist with the Red Army, 1941-1945, 2nd ed., New Y (...)
  • 36  Ian Grey, The First Fifty Years: Soviet Russia, 1917-67, New York: Coward-McCann, 1967, p. 519.‬‬‬ (...)

12Stalin refused to recognize that the military units in and around Kiev were in danger of being encircled. When the NKVD informed him that Khrushchev was about to surrender the city, Stalin phoned to cajole and threaten the subordinate: “you should be ashamed of yourself!… what’s the matter with you? [you have] given up half the Ukraine. You’re ready to give up the other half too… Do whatever it takes—if not, we’ll make short work of you!” Stalin transferred military command from Budyonny to Timoshenko; two days later, Panzer Groups One and Two linked up a hundred miles east of Kiev. The Germans surrounded Kiev on September 14; five Soviet armies were sealed in the encirclement.31 Stalin authorized withdrawal, too late. Khrushchev was left with the responsibility of evacuating industrial plant, “working livestock, grain, tractors, and combines,”32 from the besieged city.33 As the Soviet Southwestern Front armies collapsed and 452,720 men were taken prisoner, Kiev was abandoned to the enemy.34 Some 15,000 troops nonetheless managed to slip the cordon around Kiev,35 while Khrushchev, Budyonny, and Timoshenko were evacuated by air.36

  • 37  Arab Observer, mai 1964, p. 51.
  • 38 Ibid., p. cv.

13During the 1964 state visit, as Nasser guided Khrushchev through the Egyptian Museum,37 the guest expressed his pleasure with a brief sentence: “Visiting these antiquities and knowing their history should take no less than ten years.”38 Host and guest lingered over the display of three golden flies from the 17th Dynasty. Both had seen active military service; Khrushchev on the Ukranian front, and Nasser sixteen years previously.

  • 39  Gamal Abdul Nasser and Walid Khalidi, “Nasser’s Memoirs of the First Palestine War,” Journal of Pa (...)
  • 40  Kenneth Michael Pollack, Arabs at War: Military Effectiveness, 1948-1991, Lincoln: University of N (...)
  • 41  Fawaz A. Gerges, “Egypt and the 1948 War: Internal Conflict and Regional Ambition,” in Eugene L. R (...)

14Seeking to explain his experiences of the Palestine campaign for a popular audience, Nasser described a Hollywood film he had seen in a Cairo cinema. “The story had a villain, who had succumbed to the evil machinations of the devil,” he began his narrative; “this villain commits murder but plans his crime in such a way that suspicion is thrown on an innocent man.”39 Egypt’s offensive began on May 14, 1948, the day Israel declared its independence.40 King Farouk entered the war against the advice of military leaders, Prime Minister Mahmud Nuqrashi, and all the leading political parties.41

  • 42  Janice J. Terry, “Egypt,” in Philip Mattar, Encyclopedia of the Palestinians, 2nd ed., New York: I (...)

15At that time, Egypt’s army was made up of nine battalions; three were on the border, with a fourth on its way. All students in their senior year at the Staff College, Zakariya Mohieddin was ordered to join the 1st battalion, Nasser the 6th, and Abdul Hakim Amer the 9th. Immediately after their graduation ceremonies, the three men received “orders were that we should leave Cairo on 16 May.” Sharing a taxicab to the train station, having boarded civilian transport, they “spread out a large map between us and began to discuss the situation; at first glance there loomed before our eyes the ‘gaps’ in our position through which our lines could be threatened.”42

  • 43  Chaim Hertzog and Shlomo Gazit, The Arab-Israeli Wars: War and Peace in the Middle East from the 1 (...)
  • 44  Benny Morris, 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War, New Haven: Yale University Press, 200 (...)

16Arriving at the Sinai town of al-Arish, they found the military headquarters “like an abandoned house in the middle of uninhabited territory; when we finally found the officer on duty, he was looking for a dinner for himself.” Since the three officers’ respective battalions were located in Gaza and Rafah, the three men parted. Rafah, to which Nasser was assigned, was backed by a troop of armored cars, twenty Bren gun carriers,43 batteries of twenty-five pounders, and twenty Locust tanks.44 Arriving at Rafah, he heard about events that had taken place at Kibbutz Narim (Dangour), a town halfway to Gaza.

  • 45  Efraim Karsh, The Arab-Israeli Conflict: The 1948 War, New York: Rosen Publishing, 2009, p. 54.
  • 46  Kenneth Michael Pollack, Arabs at War, op. cit. (note 40), p. 16.
  • 47  Janice J. Terry, “Egypt”, op. cit. (note 42), p. 141.
  • 48  Chaim Hertzog and Shlomo Gazit, The Arab-Israeli Wars, op. cit. (note 43), p. 71.
  • 49  David Tal, War in Palestine, 1948: Strategy and Diplomacy, London/New York: Routledge, 2004, p. 17 (...)

17There, forty-odd defenders had managed to contain sustained Egyptian assaults,45 as the Egyptians conducted slow-moving frontal attacks in line abreast.46 As Nasser recalled, “the men were given no time to rest and ordered to attack the wire perimeter at once. No one really knew how to set about it, although the defenders of Dangour were quite clear about their job. The [Egyptian] battalion suffered unexpected losses, and about noon the commanding officer ordered it to retire from the settlement.”47 After a short battle, the Egyptians withdrew, leaving thirty soldiers dead.48 Although the Egyptian infantry enjoyed air support, in addition to artillery support,49 the resistance they encountered nonetheless surprised them.

  • 50  Janice J. Terry, “Egypt,” op. cit. (note 42), p. 141.

18Rather than recognizing that they possessed the technological advantage, the Egyptians were under the impression that they were technologically disadvantaged. The young colonel recounted that he listened to an officer “relate how electrically-operated towers rose above the surface of the ground to fire at our men in all directions, after which the towers disappeared (still electrically) into the ground again.” With such reports ringing in his ears, his battalion returned to Rafah where they found an official communiqué announcing that the “clean-up” of Dangour had been successful.50

  • 51 Ibid., p. 141.

19Nasser asked, “What kind of war was this? Our infantry was being expended in a terrible way in exposed, broad daylight attacks. Bare bodies unprotected by armor were being pitted against strongly fortified positions and guns manned by competent, well-trained defenders.” While Egyptian infantrymen had shown courage, they were ill-equipped, and their central command lacked proper planning. “Was this a battle into which we were leading our troops, or a massacre?”51

  • 52  Ghada Hashem Talhami, Palestine in the Egyptian Press: From al-Ahram to al-Ahali, Lanham: Lexingto (...)
  • 53 Selma Botman, Egypt from Independence to Revolution, 1919-1952, Syracuse: Syracuse University Press (...)
  • 54 Ghada Hashem Talhami, Palestine in the Egyptian Press, op. cit. (note 52), p.88.
  • 55  Louis Awad, “Cultural and Intellectual Developments in Egypt Since 1952,” in P. J. Vatikiotis, Egy (...)
  • 56  Éric Rouleau, “Abd al-Nasser and the Palestinian National Movement; Chronicle of a Stormy Affair,” (...)
  • 57  Karel Holbik, “Egypt as recipient of Soviet aid, 1955-1970,” Zeitschrift für di gesamte Staatswiss (...)

20Egyptians, civilians, and military were touched by that year’s military events.52 The country’s performance in the 1948 war bruised national pride; a munitions scandal (the Palace had purchased defective military equipment, left over from World War II) alienated the population from the political leadership.53 To the Muslim Brotherhood’s young members, events in Egypt revealed the Arab regimes’ total bankruptcy.54 Either an Egyptian revolution had been going on since 1946 (in which case the Palestine War was an unsuccessful attempt to abort it that had only succeeded in delaying it, shaping its early course and objectives and giving it renewed impetus),55 or it was in Palestine that a conspiracy to overthrow the monarchy was born.56 Either way, the “free officers” of Egypt, led by Mohammed Naguib, took control of the government in July 1952, replacing King Farouk.57

  • 58  David Tal, War in Palestine, 1948, op. cit. (note 49) p. 169.

21For Egypt’s new government, advanced military systems would enable them to overcome soldiers’ impression that the enemy had “electrically-operated towers.”The question was, how could the “free officers” government break the monarchy’s reliance on British military assistance? While the terms of a 1936 treaty with Britain had restricted the Egyptian government to British-provided supplies, the agreement had expired the year before the Palestine campaign.58

  • 59  United Kingdom, The National Archives (TNA), FO 401/234, p. 6.
  • 60  Special to the New York Times, “Bevan Cites Issues Barring Suez Pact,” New York Times, January 2, (...)
  • 61  Benjamin Welles, special to the New York Times, “Britain Hardens Attitude on Suez: Plans to Retain (...)
  • 62  Benjamin Welles, special to the New York Times, “Britain to Offer to Evacuate Suez: Drafting Propo (...)
  • 63  Waldo Drake, “Britain’s Defense,” Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File), April 15, 1954.
  • 64  Peter G. Boyle, The Churchill-Eisenhower Correspondence, 1953-1955, Chapel Hill: University of Nor (...)
  • 65  United States Department of State, “Foreign relations of the United States, 1952-1954. The Near an (...)
  • 66  “Text of Main Agreement on Suez Canal Zone Base,” New York Times, October 20, 1954.

22Records from Great Britain’s embassy in Cairo reflect diplomats’ self-congratulation on (what they thought was) a renewal of the 1936 treaty’s military provisions. The British ambassador’s annual report for 1954 began that the year “was remarkable both for the efforts displayed by the men of the régime and for the results achieved.”59 Even though British diplomats and their counterparts among the “free officers” had failed to agree on the emergency circumstances by which foreign troops would be permitted to return to the Suez base,60 Britain simply kept “her powerful armed forces at full strength in the Suez Canal zone.”61 Britain offered, however, to evacuate all 80,000 troops from the Suez bases if Egypt would permit them to return in the event of a war.62 Constrained by declining military budgets,63 and acknowledging that nuclear weapons had altered strategic considerations around the world,64 Britain’s diplomats had succeeded in transferring the nation’s military responsibility elsewhere in the region (Iraq) over to the United States, and may have considered doing so in Egypt as well.65 By October, diplomats finally arrived at an agreement governing the Suez bases, establishing terms for a phased withdrawal—to begin in a year’s time.66

  • 67  “Soviet Offer Confirmed: Egypt’s Deputy Premier Says Moscow Made Arms Bid,” New York Times, Septem (...)
  • 68  Cairo, Egyptian Home Service - 1955-08-17, “Al-Nasir Comments on Trip to Russia,” Daily Report, Fo (...)
  • 69  Cairo, Egyptian Home Service - 1955-08-21, “Relations with USSR,” Daily Report, Foreign Radio Broa (...)

23In the final phases of talks, Egypt’s deputy premier Gamal Salem suggested that Egypt was open to a new offer for weapons; “If European countries would not fulfill their promises and contracts for arms, Egypt had no alternative but to accept” any new offer.67 Those who listened to Cairo Radio and read the al-Jumhuriyahh (“The Republic”) newspaper already knew Egypt’s head of state considered “a visit to the Soviet Union [to] significantly demonstrate that Egyptian policy and actions are not inspired by any foreign influence or pressure and that Egypt can freely make any decision at any time she wishes to do so.”68 Similarly, editors at the Soviet newspaper Izvestia (“News”) praised Egypt’s “opposition to the policy of military alliances with the Western powers.”69

  • 70  Karel Holbik, “Egypt as recipient of Soviet aid, 1955-1970,” op. cit. (note 57), p. 138-139.
  • 71  Nael Shama, Egyptian Foreign Policy: Against the National Interest, London: Routledge, 2013, p. 25
  • 72  Roby C. Barrett, The Greater Middle East and the Cold War: US Foreign Policy Under Eisenhower and (...)

24Nasser announced on September 27, 1955, that his country had signed an arms agreement with “Czechoslovakia” for Soviet-manufactured weapons.70 This shocking new direction had been developing in secret for six months, after Nasser attended an international meeting in Indonesia.71 The organizers of the Bandung Afro-Asian solidarity conference were prepared to elevate Nasser’s stature among the conference attendees; Egypt’s premier “went to Bandung an Egyptian, and returned a world figure and a revolutionary.”72

  • 73  Tareq Y. Ismael, International Relations of the Contemporary Middle East: A Study in World Politic (...)
  • 74  Amitav Acharya and See Seng Tan, “Introduction,” in See Seng Tan and Amitav Acharya, Bandung Revis (...)
  • 75  Rami Ginat, “Origins of the Czech-Egyptian Arms Deal: A Reappraisal,” in David Tal, The 1956 War: (...)

25It is commonly accepted that, during the meeting, Zhou Enlai pledged China’s support for the Algerian, Moroccan, and Tunisian peoples in their struggle for national liberation, an important issue for Nasser’s policy of Arab unification;73 and that it was Zhou Enlai who advised the African leader to approach the Soviet bloc for weapons.74 It has also been argued that the so-called Czech-Egyptian arms deal (announced officially in September 1955) was a combination of two separate contracts: a first one concluded between Egypt and Czechoslovakia during the first quarter of the year, followed by a second, larger contract drawn up between Egypt and the Soviet Union after Nasser’s return from Bandung. Czechoslovakia adhered to this second agreement (a direct continuation of the first) in September 1955.75

  • 76  John G. Norris, “Egypt to Get Russian Bombers,” The Washington Post and Times Herald (1954-1959), (...)
  • 77  Moshe Efrat, “The Economics of Soviet Arms Transfers to the Third World. A Case Study: Egypt,” Sov (...)
  • 78  Karel Holbik, “Egypt as recipient of Soviet aid, 1955-1970,” op. cit. (note 57), p. 155.

26Within a month, six Eastern-bloc freighters arrived at Egypt’s two Mediterranean ports. “Despite elaborate Egyptian security precautions, it has been definitely established that at least one of the Port Said arrivals carried jet plane wings on deck,” totaling two hundred jets, among them MIG-15 fighters and IL-28 bombers, as well as tanks, torpedo boats, “and two submarines.”76 While precise data on the value of those weapons shipments has proven elusive, and while the conditions of payment were never published,77 the agreement reportedly provided for repayment in cotton shipments over an extended period.78

  • 79 Ibid., p. 156.
  • 80 Ibid., p. 156.
  • 81  Moshe Efrat, “The Economics of Soviet Arms Transfers to the Third World. A Case Study,” op. cit. ( (...)

27Nearly a quarter of a million British soldiers and their allies burst across Egypt’s Sinai border on October 29, 1956. After the “tripartite invasion,” Egyptian and Soviet diplomats urgently negotiated deliveries for aircraft, tanks, and other equipment. The first half of 1957 saw a first shipment of supersonic aircraft, TU-104 transport planes, six ships built in Poland, and three W-class submarines.79 While Khrushchev later reported to the CPSU XXI congress that the country “had not interfered and does not intend to interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries,”80 the military capability of Egypt had doubled.81

  • 82  Douglas Little, “The New Frontier on the Nile: JFK, Nasser, and Arab Nationalism,” The Journal of (...)

28By the time Khrushchev entered the Egyptian Museum six years later, the Soviet Union had provided Egypt with $600 million in materiel.82 When Nasser guided Khrushchev past the display of Queen Ahhotep’s golden flies, Egypt had succeeded in replacing Great Britain with the Soviet Union as its leading weapons dealer.

  • 83 Al-Ahram, May 22, 1964; LIFE, May 22, 1964; Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev, Khrushchev, Garden City: A (...)

29Face to face with Queen Ahhotep’s golden flies, Khrushchev responded with a casual, yet polite, remark that suchancient objects were very much in keeping with contemporary artistic tastes.83 Understood as a compliment by his Egyptian interlocutors, his comment cut to the heart of the Cold War’s cultural politics.

  • 84  Erika Doss, “The Age of Cultural Politics: From Regionalism to Abstract Expression,” in Lary May, (...)
  • 85  Erika Doss, Benton, Pollock, and the Politics of Modernism: From Regionalism to Abstract Expressio (...)
  • 86  Serge Guilbaut, How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art, 2nd ed., Chicago: University of Chicago (...)
  • 87  James E. B. Breslin, Mark Rothko: A Biography, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993, p. 629, (...)

30Since the 1940s, a shift had been occurring in global art, from regionalism’s accessible themes to the nonobjective art of “abstract expressionism.”84 Among the member-states of the emerging North Atlantic Treaty Organization, various cultural and political entities deployed this second style of painting as a “weapon against totalitarianism,”85 in that it coincided fairly closely with an ideology that came to dominate American public life after the 1948 presidential election.86 Indeed, nonrepresentational paintings by US artists described in terms of “abstract expressionism”—such as those of Mark Rothko, among others—were described as celebrations of a sense of individual freedom which characterized the Cold War West.87

  • 88  For Klee’s influence on de Kooning, see Barbara Hess, Willem de Kooning, 1904-1997: Content as a G (...)
  • 89  Christopher Gair, The American Counterculture, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007, p. 88.

31Through a series of connections—including combatants’ embodied experience of war and artists’ relationships to a variety of government organizations—Khrushchev seemed to have identified Queen Ahhotep’s golden flies as a distant “mirror” for the artwork of Willem de Kooning, Barnett Newman, and Jackson Pollock.88 De Kooning’s paintings, such as his Pink Angels (1945), contain inter-textual allusions to earlier paintings; in Newman’s “zip” paintings, including Onemoment I (1948), the zip divides the smooth, dominant, single-colored surface of the canvas in a manner suggesting rupture; Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm: Number 30 (1950) “does not ‘look’ like things.”89

  • 90  Kontraktsiia were formal agreements between artist and Soviet Ministry of Culture “according to wh (...)
  • 91  Igor Mead and Paul Sjeklocha, “‘The Varvaristy’ Soviet Unofficial Art,” Russian Review, vol. 25, n (...)

32The Soviet Union’s Academy of Arts employed sculptors and painters. In addition to offering “official” artists commissions, prizes, and conferences to discuss their work, and shipping supplies to their rent-free studios,90 it was less supportive of discussion of new developments around the art world. The artists’ union had suspended publication of its official journals—Iskusstvo (“Art”), Khudozhnik (“Artist”), and Tvorchestvo (“Creativity”)—for the duration of World War II. After the war, when the three journals resumed publication, the official portrait painter A.M. Gerasimov allied with the chief of the artists’ union V. Serov to resist the rising tide of a general preoccupation with the subconscious.91

  • 92  Matthew Jesse Jackson, The Experimental Group: Ilya Kabakov, Moscow Conceptualism, Soviet Avant-Ga (...)
  • 93  “Semiotics,” URL: http://afronord.tripod.com/rat/semio.html (viewed February 17, 2016).
  • 94  Albert Leong, Centaur: The Life and Art of Ernst Neizvestny, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002, p (...)
  • 95  Jeffrey L. Roberg, Soviet Science Under Control: The Struggle for Influence, London: Macmillan Pub (...)
  • 96  Albert Leong, “Preface,” in Ernst Neizvestny, Space, Time, and Synthesis in Art: Essays on Art, Li (...)

33Not all shared Gerasimov, Khrushchev, and Serov’s opinions. After the war, Moscow artist E. L.  Kropivnitsky obtained reproductions of Salvador Dalí, Paul Klee, and Joan Miró.92 By the mid-1950s, a varied group of creative people had gathered around Kropivnitsky, among them his sons Leo and Valentine, painter O. Rabin, and poets I. Holin, E. Limonov, and G. Sapgir.93 Sculptor E. Neizvestny received his medical discharge from the Red Army when an exploding bullet pierced his chest, shattered his spine and ribs, and left a crater in his back; after the war ended, a military medical commission examined him, finding him a “class II invalid.” Following a period of recuperation, Neizvestny went to work at a factory in Sverdlovsk, then taught art classes at the Suvorov Military Institute.94 Moving to Moscow without official kontraktsiia, he sold pieces to nuclear physicists L.D. Landau and P.L. Kapitsa,95 as well as working anonymously for the studios of established architects.96

  • 97  Nancy Condee, “Cultural Codes of the Thaw,” in William Taubman et al., Nikita Khrushchev, New Have (...)
  • 98  Priscilla Johnson McMillan, Khrushchev and the Arts: The Politics of Soviet Culture, 1962-1964, Ca (...)

34A series of exhibits were planned to introduce this kind of artistic “formalism”—as abstract expressionism was called in Moscow—to the Soviet capital’s public, as an attempt to bridge the growing rift between official and unofficial art worlds. Khrushchev’s antipathy towardmodern art had already been noticed—he resented its “radical novelty,” its “impulse toextreme individualism,” its “valorization of inaccessibility.”97 Public celebrities such as Olympic weightlifter F. Bogdanovsky, cosmonaut Yu. Gagarin, brigade leader on a construction site G. Lamochkin, and textile worker V. Petrishcheva characterized abstract expressionism as the “pursuit of cheap sensations, masked in some cases by empty declarations, [which] drag to exhibitions or load the airwaves with nonsensical combinations of colors or sounds, and more over attempt to palm off their wares as innovations.”98 The “radical novelty,” the “extreme individualism,” and “inaccessibility” of artistic formalism contrasted with the accessible, collective establishment of athleticism, scientific heroism, and an aristocracy of labor.

  • 99  Jp A. Calosse, Picasso, New York: Parkstone International, 2011, p. vii.
  • 100  Stephen V. Bittner, The Many Lives of Khrushchev’s Thaw: Experience and Memory in Moscow’s Arbat, (...)
  • 101  Peter Romijn et al., Divided Dreamworlds? The Cultural Cold War in East and West, Amsterdam: Amste (...)
  • 102  Rafis Abazov, Culture and Customs of the Central Asian Republics, Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publi (...)
  • 103  Matthew Jesse Jackson, The Experimental Group, op. cit. (note 92).
  • 104  James Aulich and Marta Sylvestrová, Political Posters in Central and Eastern Europe, 1945-95: Sign (...)
  • 105  Igor Mead and Paul Sjeklocha, “‘The Varvaristy’ Soviet Unofficial Art,” op. cit. (note 91).
  • 106  Susan Reid, “The Exhibition ‘Art of Socialist Countries’, Moscow 1958-9 and the Contemporary Style (...)
  • 107  Timothy J. Colton, Moscow: Governing the Socialist Metropolis, Cambridge: Harvard University Press (...)

35The first of these shows celebrated the 75th birthday of communist artist Pablo Picasso (1956);99 followed by the “World Festival of Youth and Students” (1957), with its separate pavilions for painting and sculpture;100 then an “Art of Socialist Countries” exhibit (1958).101 These, together with an “Exhibition of American Painting and Sculpture,” marked an ottepel (“thaw”) in the visual arts.102 By the early 1960s, as part of this “thaw,” Neizvestny started work on a series of small-scale bronze casts, described as cyborg-hulks; “quasi-human creatures beset by contortions… uncanny, deformed objects.”103 A show of avant-garde art by Kropivnitsky and others was scheduled to open in the Hotel Yunost’ (“Youth”) on Moscow’s downtown Gorky Street during November 1962. The Yunost’ artists hung their work for a private preview in the apartment of sculptor E. Belyutin; when the authorities closed this unsanctioned gathering after only a few hours,104 the artists were invited to join the official “30 Years of Moscow Art” exhibition scheduled in the Manezh—a much larger and more significant venue than either the hotel or the apartment.105 Only a few short steps from the Kremlin, this 170-meter-long hall served the Soviet empire and its predecessor as their epicenter.106 Construction of this building—whose name is a distant mirror for the French manège, or “stables”—was a high point of the city’s revitalization after Napoleon’s defeat, serving Russia’s Imperial Cavalry regiments, then retaining their name after the October Revolution witnessed conversion of the space to civilian uses.107

  • 108  Matthew Jesse Jackson, The Experimental Group, op. cit. (note 92).
  • 109  “‘The Varvaristy’ Soviet Unofficial Art,” op. cit. (note 91).
  • 110  John Berger, Art and Revolution: Ernst Neizvestny and the Role of the Artist in the U.S.S.R, Londo (...)
  • 111  Priscilla Johnson McMillan, Khrushchev and the Arts, op. cit. (note 98).
  • 112  Alla Rosenfeld and Norton Townshend Dodge, Nonconformist Art: The Soviet Experience 1956-1986; The (...)

36In this way, a number of artists were added at the last moment to the “30 Years of Moscow Art” exhibition scheduled to open in December 1962. Several were World War II veterans; one of these was Neizvestny.108 Following the Manezh opening, four cabinet members and several members of the CPSU secretariat accompanied Khrushchev to view the works.109 The sculptor recalled that an entourage of about seventy public figures entered the building,110 among them Serov and Gerasimov.111 Khrushchev toured the ground-floor halls quietly; only when he reached the top of the stairs did he begin to shout: “Disgrace! Dog shit! Filth! Pederasts! Who is responsible for this? Who is the leader?” The sculptor Belyutin stepped forward; somebody among the official delegation said: “He’s not the real leader, we don’t want him,” and, pointing at Neizvestny, “That’s the real leader!”112

  • 113  John Berger, Art and Revolution, op. cit. (note 110).

37Acknowledging that accounts of what followed have become part of Cold War mythology, the sculptor recalled that he answered back: “you may be premier and chairman but not here in front of my works. Here I am premier and we shall discuss as equals.”113

  • 114  Solomon Volkov, The Magical Chorus: A History of Russian Culture from Tolstoy to Solzhenitsyn, New (...)
  • 115  Arkadii Vaksberg, “Something unknown about Neizvestny; interview with Ernst Neizvestny,” Russian P (...)

38From among the official entourage, KGB chief A.N. Shelepin barked something like, “If you continue to behave that way, we’ll let you rot in the uranium mines.”114 The war veteran related that he no longer feared death, which “let me feel completely free inside,” at which point he saw the “attentive, interested, and even sympathetic gaze” of the man who had evacuated from Kiev by air twenty years earlier. To the Premier, the Soviet sculptor is said to have replied, “you are insulting me; such outstanding Communists as [Italian expressionist] Renato Guttuso, Picasso, and [Mexican muralist David Alfaro] Siqueiros support me and love me.” Khrushchev then answered, “Aha, I’ve got you. Here you are in front of the number one Communist in the world—that’s me—and I don’t like your works at all.”115

  • 116  Harrison E. Salisbury, “Monumental dreams of Ernst Neizvestny,” ARTnews, vol. 78, no. 5, May 1979, (...)
  • 117  Harlow Robinson, “The View From Khrushchev’s Head,” The New York Times, sect. Books, August 25, 20 (...)

39In his exchanges with the authorities, many considered the sculptor to exemplify the kind of individual freedom associated with art by de Kooning, Newman, and Pollock.116 After the 1962 confrontation with Khrushchev and his entourage, Neizvestny failed to find work as a professional artist for almost a decade. Since he was unable to sell art under his own name, rivals stole and executed designs he had submitted for large projects, while he found work loading salt at a railroad switchyard.117

  • 118 The High Aswan Dam Approaching the Last Year of Construction, Cairo: Survey of Egypt, 1968.
  • 119  Erik Egeland and Ėrnst Neizvestnyĭ, Ernest Neizvestny, Life and Work, Oakville, Ont.: Mosaic Press (...)
  • 120 Studio International, July 1969, p. 7.

40Seven years later, the sculptor learned of Egypt’s international competition for a monument at the Aswan high dam; a competition that was to be adjudicated by an international jury with no affiliation to the USSR’s artistic academy.118 For his entry, he developed an enormous lotus flower design of “leaf formations rising upwards in a gothic style to a height of two hundred and seventy feet… [with] a giant relief with motifs from the ‘tree of life.’”119 He managed to smuggle his entry out of the country and into Egypt before the submission deadline. As international journalists were invited to be present in Cairo when the envelopes containing the jury votes were opened, news of his winning design was made public around the world.120

  • 121  Vladimir Pozner, Parting with Illusions: The Extraordinary Life and Controversial Views of the Sov (...)
  • 122  István Hargittai, Buried Glory: Portraits of Soviet Scientists, New York/Oxford: Oxford Universit (...)
  • 123  Peter Radetsky, The Soviet Image: A Hundred Years of Photographs from Inside the TASS Archives, Sa (...)
  • 124  Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev, Khrushchev, the Years in Power, New York: Norton, 1978, p. 148.

41This success gained Neizvestny entry into the official Soviet art world; it was not, however, his greatest accomplishment. After Khrushchev’s death in 1971, his son S. N. Khrushchev asked the sculptor for a memorial. Intertwined white and black marble blocks (alluding to the contrasts and paradoxes of his public service) frame a head cast in bronze.121 The cemetery belonging to the historic Novodevichy Convent on the Moscow River had been selected as Khrushchev’s final resting place.122 After a four-year delay,123 this tombstone uniting “formalist” and “realist” elements was finally installed to mark the leader’s grave.124

Conclusion

42This essay has explored the nature of the relationship between Pharaonicart and Egyptian society, and “formalist” art and Soviet society, through a series of martial themes. Queen Ahhotep I’s “golden flies,” which attracted Nasser’s attention and Khrushchev’s response, were New Kingdom military decorations found in a woman’s tomb. In the Egyptian Museum, the “golden flies” evoked a military history stretching from the New Kingdom to the Cold War. Khrushchev’s wartime experience on the Soviet Union’s western front reflects the overlap between administrative power and military conquest; similarly, what Nasser saw and heard during the 1948 Palestine campaign underscored the value of advanced weapons systems. By the time Khrushchev visited the Egyptian Museum during 1964, the Soviet Union had replaced Great Britain as Egypt’s leading weapons supplier.

  • 125  Michael Hatt and Charlotte Klonk, Art History: A Critical Introduction to Its Methods, Manchester: (...)

43As Michael Hatt and Charlotte Klonk point out, “what is at stake for Marxism and social art history is not the embeddedness of art in society, but the nature of this relationship and its consequences.”125 This contribution considers the imbrication of ancient and modern art, with the mid-twentieth century’s changing tides of war and peace. Both the Soviet Communist Party leader and the Egyptian president had experience of military defeat; both found their experiences contrasted with (and informed by) those of veterans who had seen active service.

44Khrushchev’s measured remarks before the “golden flies” in the Egyptian Museum distantly echo his response to works exhibited at the Manezh.For Khrushchev, Queen Ahhotep’s gold reflected his conflict with war veteran Ernest Neizvestny and those “uncanny, deformed” sculptures from two years earlier. In the cultural politics of the Cold War, Khrushchev found the New Kingdom golden flies to also reflect the artwork of de Kooning, Newman, and Pollock. In turn, the “Thirty Years of Moscow Art” exhibition found its own distant mirrors, first in Neizvestny’s design for a monument at the Aswan High Dam and later in Khrushchev’s Novodevichy monument.

Notes

1  William J. Burns, Economic Aid and American Policy toward Egypt, 1955-1981, Albany: SUNY Press, 1985, p. 154. I’d like to express my gratitude to Mercedes Volait, to Oregon writing group colleagues Djamila Brooks, Nancy Demerdash, and Mary Anne Lewis; and, in Texas, to writing group colleagues Kimberley Alido, Laurie Green, and Denise Spellberg (any remaining errors are my own).

2  “Saturday, 9 May 1964,” The Scribe/Arab Review, August 1964, p. 51.

3  Thomas Schneider, “Egypt and the Levant,” in Joan Aruz et al., Beyond Babylon: Art, Trade, and Diplomacy in the Second Millennium B.C., New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art; New Haven, Yale University Press, 2008, p. 119.

4   Garciela N. Gestoso Singer, “Queen Ahhotep and the ‘Golden Fly,’” Cahiers Caribéens d’Égyptologie, no. 12, 2009, p. 75-88. I am grateful to Suzanne L. Onstine for drawing my attention to this source.

5  Abeer El-Shahawy, The Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Cairo: Farid Atiya Press, 2005, p. 151.

6  “Catalog Part C., Various Dates,” in Christine Lilyquist et al., The Tomb of Three Foreign Wives of Tuthmosis III, New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2003, p.299.

7  Ibid., p. 84.

8  Hope B. Werness, Continuum Encyclopedia of Animal Symbolism in World Art, New York: Continuum, 2006, p. 181.

9  Gene Kritsky and Ron H. Cherry, Insect Mythology, San Jose: Writers Club Press, 2000, p.61.

10  Ibid., p. 77.

11 Garciela N. Gestoso Singer, “Queen Ahhotep and the ‘Golden Fly,’” op. cit. (note 4).

12  Wendy Christensen, Empire of Ancient Egypt, rev. ed., New York: Chelsea House, 2009, p. 73.

13 Robert Morkot, Historical Dictionary of Ancient Egyptian Warfare, Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2003, p. 4.

14  Steven R. David, “Realism, Constructivism, and the Amarna Letters,” in Raymond Cohen and Raymond Westbrook, Amarna Diplomacy: The Beginnings of International Relations, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002, p. 75.

15  Betsy M. Bryan, “Administration in the Reign of Thutmose III,” in Eric H. Cline and David B. O’Connor, Thutmose III: A New Biography, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2006, p. 93.

16  Michael Podro, The Critical Historians of Art, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982, p. 2-3.

17  Frances Stonor Saunders, Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War, London: Granta Books, 2000, p. 258.

18  Dawn Langley Simmons and Ann Pinchot, Jacqueline Kennedy: A Biography, New York: Signet, 1966, p. 145.

19  “Treasures of the Kennedy Library to be Displayed,” Prologue: The Journal of the National Archives, vol. 31, no. 3, 1999, p. 220.

20  Muḥammad Ḥasanayn Haykal, Sphinx and Commissar: The Rise and Fall of Soviet Influence in the Arab World, London: Collins, 1978, p. 32.

21  Rami Ginat, “Nasser and the Soviets; A Reassessment,” in Elie Podeh and Onn Winckler, Rethinking Nasserism: Revolution and Historical Memory in Modern Egypt, Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2004, p. 242.

22 Jeremy Smith, Red Nations: The Nationalities Experience in and after the USSR, Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013, p. 174.

23  Jan Tomasz Gross, Revolution from Abroad: The Soviet Conquest of Poland’s Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia, rev. ed., Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002, p. 72.

24 Ibid., p. 176.

25  Andrzej Paczkowski, The Spring Will Be Ours: Poland and the Poles from Occupation to Freedom, University Park: Penn State Press, 2010, p. 42.

26  Marci Shore, Caviar and Ashes: A Warsaw Generation’s Life and Death in Marxism, 1918-1968, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006, p. 158.

27 David Stahel, Kiev 1941: Hitler’s Battle for Supremacy in the East, Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011, p. 49.

28  Martin van Creveld, Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton, Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004, p. 148.

29  Simon Adams, The Eastern Front, New York: Rosen Publishing, 2009, p. 24.

30  Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev and Sergeĭ Khrushchev, Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev: Commissar, 1918-1945, University Park: Penn State Press, 2004, p. 342.

31  Simon Sebag Montefiore, Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, New York: Knopf, 2004, p. 381.

32  Karel C. Berkhoff, Harvest of Despair: Life and Death in Ukraine Under Nazi Rule, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004, p. 18.

33 Timothy J. Colton, Commissars, Commanders, and Civilian Authority: The Structure of Soviet Military Politics, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1979, p. 169.

34  John Mosier, Deathride. Hitler vs. Stalin: The Eastern Front, 1941-1945, New York: Simon and Schuster, 2010, p. 138.

35  Vasily Grossman, A Writer at War: A Soviet Journalist with the Red Army, 1941-1945, 2nd ed., New York: Vintage Books, 2007, p. 36.

36  Ian Grey, The First Fifty Years: Soviet Russia, 1917-67, New York: Coward-McCann, 1967, p. 519.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

37  Arab Observer, mai 1964, p. 51.

38 Ibid., p. cv.

39  Gamal Abdul Nasser and Walid Khalidi, “Nasser’s Memoirs of the First Palestine War,” Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 2, no. 2, 1973, p. 3-32. DOI: 10.2307/2535478 (viewed January 17, 2016). I’m grateful to Alfredo González Benítez for drawing my attention to this source.

40  Kenneth Michael Pollack, Arabs at War: Military Effectiveness, 1948-1991, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2002, p. 16.

41  Fawaz A. Gerges, “Egypt and the 1948 War: Internal Conflict and Regional Ambition,” in Eugene L. Rogan and Avi Shlaim, The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001, p. 150.

42  Janice J. Terry, “Egypt,” in Philip Mattar, Encyclopedia of the Palestinians, 2nd ed., New York: Infobase Publishing, 2005, p. 141.

43  Chaim Hertzog and Shlomo Gazit, The Arab-Israeli Wars: War and Peace in the Middle East from the 1948 War of Independence to the Present, New York: Vintage Books, 2005, p. 71.

44  Benny Morris, 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008, p. 368.

45  Efraim Karsh, The Arab-Israeli Conflict: The 1948 War, New York: Rosen Publishing, 2009, p. 54.

46  Kenneth Michael Pollack, Arabs at War, op. cit. (note 40), p. 16.

47  Janice J. Terry, “Egypt”, op. cit. (note 42), p. 141.

48  Chaim Hertzog and Shlomo Gazit, The Arab-Israeli Wars, op. cit. (note 43), p. 71.

49  David Tal, War in Palestine, 1948: Strategy and Diplomacy, London/New York: Routledge, 2004, p. 178.

50  Janice J. Terry, “Egypt,” op. cit. (note 42), p. 141.

51 Ibid., p. 141.

52  Ghada Hashem Talhami, Palestine in the Egyptian Press: From al-Ahram to al-Ahali, Lanham: Lexington Books, 2007, p. 161.

53 Selma Botman, Egypt from Independence to Revolution, 1919-1952, Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1991, p.50.

54 Ghada Hashem Talhami, Palestine in the Egyptian Press, op. cit. (note 52), p.88.

55  Louis Awad, “Cultural and Intellectual Developments in Egypt Since 1952,” in P. J. Vatikiotis, Egypt Since the Revolution, London: Routledge, 2012, p. 143.

56  Éric Rouleau, “Abd al-Nasser and the Palestinian National Movement; Chronicle of a Stormy Affair,” in Kamīl Manṣūr and Leila Tarazi Fawaz, Transformed Landscapes: Essays on Palestine and the Middle East in Honor of Walid Khalidi, Cairo/New York: American University in Cairo Press, 2009, p. 178,

57  Karel Holbik, “Egypt as recipient of Soviet aid, 1955-1970,” Zeitschrift für di gesamte Staatswissenschaft, vol. 127, no. 1, 1971, p. 139.

58  David Tal, War in Palestine, 1948, op. cit. (note 49) p. 169.

59  United Kingdom, The National Archives (TNA), FO 401/234, p. 6.

60  Special to the New York Times, “Bevan Cites Issues Barring Suez Pact,” New York Times, January 2, 1954.

61  Benjamin Welles, special to the New York Times, “Britain Hardens Attitude on Suez: Plans to Retain Full Canal Zone Forces Until Egypt Quells Attacks on Them,” New York Times, February 5, 1954.

62  Benjamin Welles, special to the New York Times, “Britain to Offer to Evacuate Suez: Drafting Proposal to Move Out All Troops If Egypt Accepts War Proviso,” New York Times, June 17, 1954.

63  Waldo Drake, “Britain’s Defense,” Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File), April 15, 1954.

64  Peter G. Boyle, The Churchill-Eisenhower Correspondence, 1953-1955, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1990, p. 24.

65  United States Department of State, “Foreign relations of the United States, 1952-1954. The Near and Middle East (in two parts),” 1952-1954, p. 2325. URL: http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?id=FRUS.FRUS195254v09p2 (viewed February 17, 2016).

66  “Text of Main Agreement on Suez Canal Zone Base,” New York Times, October 20, 1954.

67  “Soviet Offer Confirmed: Egypt’s Deputy Premier Says Moscow Made Arms Bid,” New York Times, September 5, 1955.

68  Cairo, Egyptian Home Service - 1955-08-17, “Al-Nasir Comments on Trip to Russia,” Daily Report, Foreign Radio Broadcasts, FBIS-FRB-55-161 on 1955-08-18.

69  Cairo, Egyptian Home Service - 1955-08-21, “Relations with USSR,” Daily Report, Foreign Radio Broadcasts, FBIS-FRB-55-164 on 1955-08-23.

70  Karel Holbik, “Egypt as recipient of Soviet aid, 1955-1970,” op. cit. (note 57), p. 138-139.

71  Nael Shama, Egyptian Foreign Policy: Against the National Interest, London: Routledge, 2013, p. 25.

72  Roby C. Barrett, The Greater Middle East and the Cold War: US Foreign Policy Under Eisenhower and Kennedy, London/New York: I.B. Tauris, 2007, p. 31.

73  Tareq Y. Ismael, International Relations of the Contemporary Middle East: A Study in World Politics, Syracure: Syracuse University Press, 1986, p. 201.

74  Amitav Acharya and See Seng Tan, “Introduction,” in See Seng Tan and Amitav Acharya, Bandung Revisited: The Legacy of the 1955 Asian-African Conference for International Order, Singapore: NUS Press, 2008, p. 12.

75  Rami Ginat, “Origins of the Czech-Egyptian Arms Deal: A Reappraisal,” in David Tal, The 1956 War: Collusion and Rivalry in the Middle East, London/Portland: Frank Cass, 2001, p. 146.

76  John G. Norris, “Egypt to Get Russian Bombers,” The Washington Post and Times Herald (1954-1959), November 10, 1955.

77  Moshe Efrat, “The Economics of Soviet Arms Transfers to the Third World. A Case Study: Egypt,” Soviet Studies, vol. 35, no. 4, October 1983, p. 437-456.

78  Karel Holbik, “Egypt as recipient of Soviet aid, 1955-1970,” op. cit. (note 57), p. 155.

79 Ibid., p. 156.

80 Ibid., p. 156.

81  Moshe Efrat, “The Economics of Soviet Arms Transfers to the Third World. A Case Study,” op. cit. (note 77), p. 440.

82  Douglas Little, “The New Frontier on the Nile: JFK, Nasser, and Arab Nationalism,” The Journal of American History, vol. 75, no. 2, September 1988, p. 501-527.

83 Al-Ahram, May 22, 1964; LIFE, May 22, 1964; Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev, Khrushchev, Garden City: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1983, p. 231.

84  Erika Doss, “The Age of Cultural Politics: From Regionalism to Abstract Expression,” in Lary May, Recasting America: Culture and Politics in the Age of Cold War, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989, p. 195.

85  Erika Doss, Benton, Pollock, and the Politics of Modernism: From Regionalism to Abstract Expressionism, 2nd ed., Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995, p. 4.

86  Serge Guilbaut, How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art, 2nd ed., Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985, p. 195.

87  James E. B. Breslin, Mark Rothko: A Biography, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993, p. 629, n. 43.

88  For Klee’s influence on de Kooning, see Barbara Hess, Willem de Kooning, 1904-1997: Content as a Glimpse, Cologne/Los Angeles: Taschen, 2004, p. 13; for Miró’s influence on Newman see Jeremy Lewison, Looking at Barnett Newman, London: August Media, 2002, p. 13; for the conversation between Miró’s and Pollock’s work, see Henry Adams, Tom and Jack: The Intertwined Lives of Thomas Hart Benton and Jackson Pollock, New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2009, p. 355.

89  Christopher Gair, The American Counterculture, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007, p. 88.

90  Kontraktsiia were formal agreements between artist and Soviet Ministry of Culture “according to which artists received a monthly wage in exchange for turning out an annual quota of works,” from which more male than female artists derived sustenance during the pre-war period. See Susan E. Reid, “All Stalin’s Women: Gender and Power in Soviet Art of the 1930s,” Slavic Review, vol. 57, no. 1, April 1998, p. 133-173.

91  Igor Mead and Paul Sjeklocha, “‘The Varvaristy’ Soviet Unofficial Art,” Russian Review, vol. 25, no. 2, April 1966.

92  Matthew Jesse Jackson, The Experimental Group: Ilya Kabakov, Moscow Conceptualism, Soviet Avant-Gardes, Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2010, p. 22.

93  “Semiotics,” URL: http://afronord.tripod.com/rat/semio.html (viewed February 17, 2016).

94  Albert Leong, Centaur: The Life and Art of Ernst Neizvestny, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002, p. 46-49.

95  Jeffrey L. Roberg, Soviet Science Under Control: The Struggle for Influence, London: Macmillan Publishers; New York, Saint Martin’s Press, 1998.

96  Albert Leong, “Preface,” in Ernst Neizvestny, Space, Time, and Synthesis in Art: Essays on Art, Literature, and Philosophy, Oakville, Ont.: Mosaic Press, 1990, p. xxxiii.

97  Nancy Condee, “Cultural Codes of the Thaw,” in William Taubman et al., Nikita Khrushchev, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000, p. 170-171.

98  Priscilla Johnson McMillan, Khrushchev and the Arts: The Politics of Soviet Culture, 1962-1964, Cambridge: M.I.T. Press, 1965, p. 139.

99  Jp A. Calosse, Picasso, New York: Parkstone International, 2011, p. vii.

100  Stephen V. Bittner, The Many Lives of Khrushchev’s Thaw: Experience and Memory in Moscow’s Arbat, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2008, p. 66.

101  Peter Romijn et al., Divided Dreamworlds? The Cultural Cold War in East and West, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2012, p. 58.

102  Rafis Abazov, Culture and Customs of the Central Asian Republics, Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007, p. 183; Alan Bird, A History of Russian Painting, Oxford: Phaidon, 1987, p. 270; Vern G. Swanson, Soviet Impressionism, Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors’ Club, 2001, p. 292.

103  Matthew Jesse Jackson, The Experimental Group, op. cit. (note 92).

104  James Aulich and Marta Sylvestrová, Political Posters in Central and Eastern Europe, 1945-95: Signs of the Times, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999, p. 34.

105  Igor Mead and Paul Sjeklocha, “‘The Varvaristy’ Soviet Unofficial Art,” op. cit. (note 91).

106  Susan Reid, “The Exhibition ‘Art of Socialist Countries’, Moscow 1958-9 and the Contemporary Style of Painting,” in Susan Emily Reid et David Crowley, Style and Socialism: Modernity and Material Culture in Post-War Eastern Europe, Oxford/New York: Berg, 2000, p. 165.

107  Timothy J. Colton, Moscow: Governing the Socialist Metropolis, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995, p. 34.

108  Matthew Jesse Jackson, The Experimental Group, op. cit. (note 92).

109  “‘The Varvaristy’ Soviet Unofficial Art,” op. cit. (note 91).

110  John Berger, Art and Revolution: Ernst Neizvestny and the Role of the Artist in the U.S.S.R, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1969.

111  Priscilla Johnson McMillan, Khrushchev and the Arts, op. cit. (note 98).

112  Alla Rosenfeld and Norton Townshend Dodge, Nonconformist Art: The Soviet Experience 1956-1986; The Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection, the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New York: Thames & Hudson, 1995.

113  John Berger, Art and Revolution, op. cit. (note 110).

114  Solomon Volkov, The Magical Chorus: A History of Russian Culture from Tolstoy to Solzhenitsyn, New York: Vintage Books, 2009, p. 206.

115  Arkadii Vaksberg, “Something unknown about Neizvestny; interview with Ernst Neizvestny,” Russian Politics & Law, vol. 37, no. 1, February 1999, p. 86-93. URL: www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.2753/RUP1061-1940370186 (viewed February 17, 2016).

116  Harrison E. Salisbury, “Monumental dreams of Ernst Neizvestny,” ARTnews, vol. 78, no. 5, May 1979, p. 102-105.

117  Harlow Robinson, “The View From Khrushchev’s Head,” The New York Times, sect. Books, August 25, 2002. URL: www.nytimes.com/2002/08/25/books/the-view-from-khrushchev-s-head.html (viewed February 17, 2016).

118 The High Aswan Dam Approaching the Last Year of Construction, Cairo: Survey of Egypt, 1968.

119  Erik Egeland and Ėrnst Neizvestnyĭ, Ernest Neizvestny, Life and Work, Oakville, Ont.: Mosaic Press; New York, Flatiron Books, 1984, p. 93.

120 Studio International, July 1969, p. 7.

121  Vladimir Pozner, Parting with Illusions: The Extraordinary Life and Controversial Views of the Soviet Union’s Leading Commentator, New York: Avon Books, 1991, p. 126.

122  István Hargittai, Buried Glory: Portraits of Soviet Scientists, New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, p. 319.

123  Peter Radetsky, The Soviet Image: A Hundred Years of Photographs from Inside the TASS Archives, San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2007, p. 62.

124  Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev, Khrushchev, the Years in Power, New York: Norton, 1978, p. 148.

125  Michael Hatt and Charlotte Klonk, Art History: A Critical Introduction to Its Methods, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006, p. 121.

Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Elizabeth Bishop, « Golden Flies: Egypt’s Pharaonic Past in Multiple Mirrors », in Mercedes Volait et Emmanuelle Perrin (dir.), Dialogues artistiques avec les passés de l'Égypte, Paris, InVisu (CNRS-INHA) (« Actes de colloques »), 2017.

Référence électronique

Elizabeth Bishop, « Golden Flies: Egypt’s Pharaonic Past in Multiple Mirrors », in Mercedes Volait et Emmanuelle Perrin (dir.), Dialogues artistiques avec les passés de l'Égypte, Paris, InVisu (CNRS-INHA) (« Actes de colloques »), 2017, [En ligne], mis en ligne le 01 février 2017, consulté le 20 février 2017. URL : http://inha.revues.org/7198

Auteur

Elizabeth Bishop

Texas State University

Droits d’auteur

Tous droits réservés