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Oct 27, 2020

Episode 4: Art Galleries and Battlefields: The Unlikely Influence of Two Icelanders

Episode 4: Art Galleries and Battlefields: The Unlikely Influence of Two Icelanders

Two of the most influential Icelanders in the 20th century made their marks primarily in North America rather than Iceland – with one in the visual arts, and the other in technology and espionage. Holger Cahill, an arts curator and writer, oversaw the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration, which employed more than five thousand artists during the Great Depression and led to the creation of more than 100 community arts centers across the United States. Sir William Stephenson, best known by his codename “Intrepid,” was a flying ace, inventor, and spymaster whose efforts contributed to the Allied victory in World War II, and whose story influenced Ian Fleming’s creation of the fictional spymaster James Bond. Both men overcame humble origins and childhood adversity to become major influencers on the world stage.

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