The white supremacist art at the heart of the US Capitol

Plus, a $2.2m Batman comic and the artists inspired by political theorist Hannah Arendt

The US Capitol’s National Statuary Hall includes confederate statues Photo: Andy Feliciotti

The US Capitol’s National Statuary Hall includes confederate statues Photo: Andy Feliciotti

The Week in Art

From breaking news and insider insights to exhibitions and events around the world, the team at The Art Newspaper picks apart the art world’s big stories with the help of special guests. An award-winning podcast hosted by Ben Luke, The Week in Art is sponsored by Christie’s.

This week, we look at white supremacist art in the Capitol in Washington and discuss the legacy of Hannah Arendt. Plus, we look at a record-breaking auction sale of a Batman comic.

Sarah Beetham, chair of liberal arts and assistant professor of art history at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, discusses the statue of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee that was removed from the Capitol building two weeks before right-wing mobs, incited by President Donald Trump and other Republican lawmakers, attacked the Capitol and filled it with white supremacist imagery like the Confederate flag. A further eight Confederate statues remain in the Capitol's National Statuary Hall today.

The National Statuary Hall in the US Capitol Photo: Architect of the Capitol

With the riots in Washington as a backdrop, we talk to two artists, Peter Kennard and Vivienne Koorland, who feature in an exhibition programme dedicated to Hannah Arendt at Richard Saltoun in London this year. They discuss the the political theorist's legacy and her affect on their work.

And as a copy of the first ever comic featuring Batman sells for $2.2m at auction, we ask Ed Jaster, the senior vice president at Heritage Auctions, what makes this item so special.

This copy of Batman #1 (1940), written by Bill Finger and drawn by Bob Kane, with art assistance from Jerry Robinson and Sheldon Moldoff, sold for $2.22m at Heritage Auctions

The Week in Art podcast by The Art Newspaper is available every Friday on our website and all the usual places where you find podcasts. This podcast is sponsored by Christie's.