Spurgeon Keeny, one of the founding fathers and practitioners of nuclear arms control, died last week, after a full life, well lived. Spurgeon loved Hieronymus Bosch as much as touch football. His understanding of arms control, nonproliferation, and the fuel cycle was encyclopedic, one reason why meetings with him were rarely brisk. Almost every issue discussed in ACW bears his fingerprints.
Spurgeon’s spacious office in the State Department was dominated by large prints of Bosch’s imaginary cauldrons. Why the interest in Bosch? Wade Boese theorizes a link to Pief Panofsky’s father, who, he tells me, was the foremost art scholar of Bosch. As I noted to the writer of Spurgeon’s obituary in the Washington Post, it was fitting that he surrounded himself with Bosch’s mystical creatures and tiny gremlins, since he spent his career trying to combat larger ones.