From the famous Kitchen Debate between Nikita Khrushchev and Richard Nixon to the popularity of Henry Ford within the USSR, the hundreds of factories designed by Detroit engineer Albert Kahn for Soviet Russia, and skyscrapers erected in Moscow, the Cold War had a peculiar side to it, that is the Russian fascination with American culture and technology. The exhibition Building a new New World: Amerikanizm in Russian Architecture, curated by architectural historian Jean-Louis Cohen and hosted at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal, illustrates the dynamics at play between the two countries across centuries and the Russian take on American culture and architecture. During the 19th century age of World's Fairs, industrial capitalism fascinated the world and sparked the imagination. Russia was not immune to the charms, and there has been a constant "transfusion" of technical expertise and cultural motifs between the two countries. The exhibition showcases examples of Russian architecture, inspired by the American counterpart, like the project for the Palace of the Soviets, unbuilt and with multiple iterations, but drawing inspiration from Radio City Hall and the Statue of Liberty.
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