Art meets politics and politics meets religion in tonight’s Historama.
Abstractionism fails to impress Soviet leader
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had his first exposure to abstract art on this day in 1962.
Khrushchev was not sure whether it was good or bad but a group of pro-Communist artists convinced the leader that abstract art did not uphold the Party’s ideals.
Not long after, he continued to ban. The young artists whose work Khrushchev saw were unable to change his mind.
For decades, abstractionism existed only as an underground art form in the Soviet Union.
USSR and Vatican establish connection
Mikhail Gorbachev met Pope John Paul II in the Vatican on this day in 1989.
He was the first Soviet leader to meet with a pope.
This was also the day when an official relationship between the Vatican and USSR was established.
Soon after that, The Communist Party accepted the Orthodox Church as part of Soviet reality – for the first time.
USSR agrees to keep Antarctica weapons free
Today in 1959, the historic Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington DC.
The USSR was among the first 12 signatory nations. Each of them had significant interests in Antarctica at the time.
The Treaty bans military activity, including nuclear experiments, in the continent. Other countries later also signed up.
The Treaty currently has 48 signatory nations.