Soviet Realism Comes to New York

54 years ago this week the Soviet Exhibition of Science, Technology and Culture opened in Midtown Manhattan.

Entrance to the Soviet Exhibition, New York Coliseum, 22 July 1959. Photo by Walter Reed. © Leon Reed

Over the course of 6 weeks in the summer of 1959, more than a million Americans streamed into the New York Coliseum exhibition centre to gawp at all things Soviet: from automobiles and a full-scale replica of Sputnik III to examples of women’s fashion and displays on the Soviet education system.

The ‘Culture’ section contained an art exhibition full of Stalin prize-winning paintings and sculptures, much admired by President Eisenhower. A keen amateur painter, Ike’s realist landscapes were at odds with the abstraction that America officially promoted at its equivalent exhibition which opened in Moscow a month later.

Watch a British Pathe report on the Soviet Exhibition here.

Image: Entrance to the Soviet Exhibition, New York Coliseum, 22 July 1959. Photo by Walter Reed. © Leon Reed

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4 thoughts on “Soviet Realism Comes to New York

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