The British Museum examines the American Dream through Pop Art


In light of the recent disastrous elections, the British Museum turns to Pop Art to examine the American Dream. From Andy Warhol, Jim Dine, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg to Ed Ruscha, Kara Walker and Julie Mehretu – all used printmaking and art to address political and social fractures.

The British Museum has spent the last eight years quietly acquiring contemporary works in order to preserve modern history for future generations. This time America is on the agenda. Warhol’s 1972 print of Richard Nixon will bear particular resonance for some visitors, an artist who quoted the Trumps as “cheap” in his diary.  Among the more positive works on display is the iconic gleaming petrol station by Ed Ruscha, leant by New York’s Museum of Modern Art, a metaphore for American Culture. Robert Rauschenberg’s Sky Garden is a colourful homage to the launch of Apollo 11 – which the artist was invited to witness, an interesting echo to the exhibition currently staged at Tate Modern.

Image: Edward Ruscha’s ‘Standard Station’, Colour screenprint, 1966. (The Museum of Modern Art).