Back to publications list

All publications


Publications of the New Europe College reflect the scholarly output of the fellows and researchers, as well as the events and programmes developed by the College.

Browse through our yearbooks

Painting and Sculpture at the American National Exhibition in Moscow, 1959: Defining Success of a Hot Art Show during the Cold War (2016-2017)

Field of study: History, Art History

Organized by the United States Information Agency, the 1959 American National Exhibition in Moscow, along with consumerist goods from cars to kitchens, introduced contemporary American visual art to millions of Soviet people. By displaying works of abstract artists such as Jackson Pollock, curators sought to showcase freedom of artistic expression in America, which was allegedly unavailable within the framework of Socialist Realism—the only official style in the totalitarian Soviet Union. Exploring diverse novel materials from drafts of the exhibition catalog to original comment books, this essay provides a nuanced accounted on the curatorial message and the visitors’ reception of the art show. Updating dominant narratives on the exhibition, this piece concludes with a discussion of challenges one encounters when evaluating success of the show.

Keywords: American art, Soviet Union, American National Exhibition in Moscow, 1959, cultural politics, cold war

Read more