Forty-eight years on from the first Earth Day, the 5th article in our 12 Days of Culture series examines the long-term impact of environmental art

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In 1970, to commemorate the first Earth Day, the pop artist Robert Rauschenberg made a photomontage, setting an American bald eagle atop documentation of urban pollution and deforestation. Produced as a lithograph and distributed by the American Environment Foundation, his print made a strong statement about the state of the planet, all the more poignant because the eagle was an endangered species, threatened by DDT.

Forty-eight years after it was created, Earth Day remains an icon of environmental art. It also represents a turning point in Nature’s Nation, a major new book …

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