Please join fellow Columbia and other US university alumni at the prestigious Oxford and Cambridge club for our first art seminar given by Major Scott A. Smitson, PHD, a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow and a US-UK Strategic Planner in the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence. The focus of the seminar is the role of art in strategic vision and a brief synopsis follows. As we approach the 50th anniversary of his death, Winston Churchill continues to be a source of interest, debate, and fascination for scholars, historians, and politicians across the globe. While Churchill’s legacy is continually debated, viewing Churchill as an artist affords the contemporary observer unique insights into Churchill’s enduring relevance as the supreme statesman and strategist of the 20th century.
For Churchill, art in general, and painting specifically, provided a useful canvas by which to contemplate, study, and discuss the challenges and opportunities inherent for statesmen and strategists during times of political and military conflict. Churchill’s seminal essay Painting as a Pastime, written in the interwar period, is a fascinating look into Churchill’s ideas on how art can aid and enable the strategic insight demanded of all strategists. This event will utilize Churchill’s essay and other sources to discuss the broader role that fine art can play in the practice, study, and generation of strategy, as well as contemplate Churchill beyond his established historiography. Enjoy a drink on arrival and a further drink and canapés following the seminar.