- If I Ran The Zoo
was published by Random House publishing company,New York. Its author and illustrator, Ted
Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, had been turned down many times before this date because of
the sometimes violent illustrations. Dr. Seuss went on to create such books as The Cat and
the Hat, 1957, and Green Eggs and Ham, 1960. Along with writing
children's books, Geisel was a political cartoonist, advertising illustrator, and documentary
Yves Klein, a Frenchman, sought
to guide the world into a new "Age of Space", where "spirit" would exist free from form, objects
would levitate, and personalities would travel liberated from the body. Klein brought new
concepts into the art world by bringing signature elements that opened up minds to view art, not
only as pictures but also as feelings. Children's drawings were now viewed as more than just
blobs of paint; they were analyzed on a deeper psychological basis. This new theory made adults
challenge the notion of "normal art" and become more susceptible to new and different ideas.
- In the spring, Archie Bray took his first step into creating his dream by building The Pottery
on a brickyard that he had inherited in Helena, Montana. The purpose of the Archie Bray Foundation, in the eyes of Bray
himself, was to "make available for all who are seriously interested in the Ceramic arts, a fine
place to work." Here artists learned to use clay "loosely and freely." To date, the studio has had
more than 200 visiting artists, from all parts of the world.
In Topeka, Kansas, Linda Brown, a third grader, has to walk one mile across a railroad
switchyard to get to the black elementary school, while there is a white school only seven blocks
away. The Brown family, along with twelve other families, heads to the Supreme Court to argue
over the biases in the local schooling system. The case, Brown v. Board of Education, was the
first segregation case to make it to the Supreme Court. On May 17, Chief Justice Earl Warren
announces the Court ruled that separate educational facilities were inherently unequal. The
Court also issued its enforcement decree for the desegregation of schools all across America.
Although it will take years for the decree to be fully implemented, it is a huge step towards
Under pressure of church and school organizations, the comic publishing industry self-created
censorship guidelines, known as The Comics
Code, are put into effect. Parents felt this code would help end juvenile delinquency.
Teachers hoped it would lead to less distractions in school and keep children from being
exposed to alternative art forms that would clash with the school's art curriculum.
"I could never convince the financers that Disneyland was feasible because dreams offer too little collateral," mused Walt Disney. His dreams turned into reality when Disneyland was opened on
Sunday, July 17 in Anaheim, California. The design of the park involved much detailed
planning, which was done by Disney and a large team of studio designers. The park now offers
ways for both children and adults to learn the art of filmmaking and animation, as well as
"experience the magic". While Disneyland cost $17 million to construct, the first year alone
brought in a gross revenue of $10 million and crowds continue to flood the park year after year.
- Play-Doh is sold in stores for the first time. A chemist at a cleaning products company, Joseph
McVicker, invents a dough-like material to clean dirt off wallpaper. Around the same time, his
sister, a school teacher, complained about the hard and unworkable modeling clay her students
had to use. McVicker reworked his wall paper cleaner for her class and sold it to a department
store. Play-Doh became the first non-toxic, pliable and child-friendly modeling compound to be
sold. Children can easily express themselves in a three-dimensional medium in school and at
home with the new Play-Doh.
Teachers can demonstrate three-dimensional projects more easily with this softer modeling clay
and make learning easier. To make your own version of Play-Doh, visit Homemade Play-Doh.
- The Soviets launch the first artificial satellite called Sputnik. Americans believe
that their schools have failed to provide enough good scientists to compete with their Cold War
enemies. This concern leads to the National Defense Education Act, passed in 1958, which
greatly decreases the emphasis placed on art education in schools.
- The National Defense Education Act, NDEA, is passed by Congress and heavily supported
by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The act called for schools to emphasize science and math
in the hope that children with natural ability in these subjects would pursue careers that would
eventually aid the United States National Defense and thus outmatch the Soviet Union's
military, technology and research. The arts were greatly de-emphasized during this time because
they were considered frivolous, and artists were encouraged to analyze and censor their work
closely to avoid being accused of communicating a message that could easily be misconstrued. The art community, realizing that
the arts needed to be defended, argued that art was important because it fosters creative problem
solving skills that would transfer to other spheres of human intellectual activity. Titles III and
IV of the NDEA gave $70 million per year over the next four years for new equipment, materials, and better
supervision. Title V gave $15 million for the four fiscal years following the act for guidance
counseling, testing, and identification of able students in these areas of study.
The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 was passed to record the "strange new world of space." NASA's Space Art, "uses the medium of fine art to document America's space program for 'the expansion of human
knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space...for the benefit of all mankind."
Newman paints his famous Onement I, a symmetrical painting with a single
monochromatic "zip" down the center. By reducing the composition to nothing, Newman kills
the preciousness of the painting as an art object and forces the viewer to apprehend the work
more strictly in terms of ideas. The iconic ideals behind Newman's Onement would
continue thematically in order to set the stage for other color field artists such as Mark Rothko,
who through their art attempt to push painting beyond an art form into a religious experience.
The term ``Pop Art'' was first used by the English critic Lawrence Alloway in a 1958 issue of
Architectural Digest to describe those paintings that celebrate post-war consumerism, defy the psychology of Abstract Expressionism, and worship the god of materialism. The most famous of
the Pop artists, the cult figure Andy Warhol, recreated quasi-photographic paintings of people or everyday objects because "Everything is beautiful. Pop is everything."