For The Hearts And Minds Of Suomi: Usia Museum Exhibitions In Finland 1955-1970

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History and Geography


Master of Arts

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This Thesis is a history of exhibitions sent to Finland by the United States Government (more specifically the United States Information Agency) as a program of public diplomacy from 1950 to 1970. Historical context will be provided along with an introduction to the USIA. A definition of Public Diplomacy will also be provided. This paper will not include World Fairs, as a great deal of scholarship has been done on that subject and is fundamentally different than exhibitions sent to one nation. Exhibition theory will be used to study individual exhibitions that went to Finland. This Thesis is unique in its subject along with its lens that combines history, political science, and exhibition theory. It is also important due to the current heightened focus in public diplomacy scholarship, and can also be considered in that broad category. This Thesis uses primary sources from the USIA found at the National Archives, College Park Maryland. The secondary sources are books and articles from academic journals, mostly from the fields of History, Political Science, and Museum Studies. USIA sponsored museum exhibitions (1955-1970) were able to use museum theory to influence the opinion of the Finnish public without drawing negative Soviet action.