Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Jack Masey's "Six Weeks in Sokolniki Park"

One figure whose role in 1959 was absolutely vital is Jack Masey, one of the lead designers of the Sokolniki exhibition. Jack's career spanned virtually the entire history of official U.S. government exhibitions during the Cold War, from earliest traveling exhibit "caravans" in Europe and in Asia to the huge World's Fair undertakings in Montreal and Osaka. Jack is the author of several books including the comprehensive and magnificently illustrated Cold War Confrontations: U.S. Exhibitions and their Role in the Cold War (2008, Lars Muller Publishers, Baden, Switzerland).
Earlier this year, Jack oversaw the publication of an attractive booklet entitled "Six Weeks in Sokolniki Park," prepared under the sponsorship of Pepsico on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the American exhibition. The limited edition booklet, in both English and Russian, was distributed at the July 9 Spaso House conference but deserves a wider audience. It is the best overview of the Sokolniki exhibition ever, and features photographs from Jack's own extensive collection, some never before published. The booklet also touches on the first official Soviet exhibition in New York, as well as the long series of U.S. exhibitions in the U.S.S.R. that were spawned by the Sokolniki experience. Jack's presentation at our July 23 conference was one of the key moments, and brought home in a powerful way just how innovative the U.S. exhibit design in Moscow was.

1 comment: