54 years ago this week the Soviet Exhibition of Science, Technology and Culture opened in Midtown Manhattan.
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.
Image: Entrance to the Soviet Exhibition, New York Coliseum, 22 July 1959. Photo by Walter Reed. © Leon Reed