Dictionary of Art and Artists  
Dictionary of Photographers  
Dictionary of Writers and Philosophers  

Visual History of the World




From Prehistoric to Romanesque  Art
Gothic Art
Renaissance  Art
Baroque and Rococo Art
The Art of Asia
Neoclassicism, Romanticism  Art
Art Styles in 19th century
Art of the 20th century
Artists that Changed the World
Design and Posters
Classical Music
Literature and Philosophy

Visual History of the World
I. Prehistory
II. First Empires
III. The Ancient World
IV. The Middle Ages
V. The Early Modern Period
VI. The Modern Era
VII. The World Wars and Interwar Period
VIII. The Contemporary World

Dictionary of Art and Artists


Visual History of the World







Visual History of the World - part VIII

The Contemporary World



Timeline Eight


1945 United Nations founded as an international advisory and peacekeeping council; Yalta Conference: British prime minister Winston Churchill, American president Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Marshal Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union plan division of Germany into zones of occupation and Europe into spheres of influence
1947 Marshall Plan, proposed to aid recovery of European states devastated by World War II, enacted by the United States. Division of Germany into East and West states
1948 Israel achieves nationhood with recognition by the United Nations; India gains independence from Britain
1949 Communist People's Republic of China founded, under Mao Tse-tung

1954 American civil-rights movement begins: United States Supreme Court outlaws racial segregation in public schools; 1955, Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott by African-Americans, led by Martin Luther King, Jr.
с. 1955-е. 1989 Cold War among Soviet Union, China, and United States: a period of mutual hostilities, espionage, arms escalation, and political maneuvering for influence in other countries by the three world powers; most other nations align themselves with one of the three. Conflicts center upon the opposition between communism and democracy; 1961, Berlin Wall built, isolating West Berlin within East Germany; 1962, Cuban Missile Crisis, Soviet Union attempts to install missiles in Cuba, threatening United States
1959 Fidel Castro establishes communist government in Cuba
1950s In some Protestant and Jewish denominations, women become ministers. Chinese invade Tibet and destroy over 6,000 ancient temples and monasteries; 1959, Dalai Lama, head of state and of Tibetan Buddhism, forced into exile in India

1963 Assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy
1965 America enters Vietnam War
1965-76 Cultural Revolution in China: hardline Maoist Red Guards formed; educators, local governments, and other elements seen as "enemies of the Revolution" attacked; thousands are killed, millions sent to reeducation camps; many artworks and religious sites are destroyed
1967 Egypt and Israel at war; Egypt is defeated, Israel controls Sinai peninsula
1968 Prague Spring, an attempt by Czechoslovakia to win freedom from Soviet control, crushed by Soviet troops; in United States, presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy and civil-rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., assassinated; mass protests in United States against Vietnam War
1962-65 Pope John XXlll's Second Vatican Council institutes use of vernacular in church ritual and other reforms
1964 Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras attempt to resolve differences between Eastern and Western Christian churches

1973 Egypt and Syria attack Israel and are defeated. United States withdraws from Vietnam War, having failed militarily and in response to increasing public criticism. In Chile, Salvador Allende, a socialist, becomes president; he is murdered and a military dictatorship under Augusto Pinochet takes power, until 1989. In Washington, D.C., Watergate scandal: President Richard Nixon is implicated in illegal activities; 1974, he resigns
1975 South Vietnam falls, ending the war; nation is unified under a communist regime
1978 Iranian revolution: Islamic fundamentalists rebel against the shah; the Ayatollah Khomeini takes power
1979 Afghan War: Soviet troops invade Afghanistan; they are forced to withdraw ten years later. Camp David Accords brokered by United States: Egypt formally recognizes Israel and regains Sinai territory
1979-81 Iran holds 52 Americans hostage
1977 End of Catholicism as state religion of Italy
1978 Pope John Paul II of Poland elected, first non-Italian pope in 455 years

1981 Assassination of President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, advocate for peace in the Middle East; 1982, Israel invades Lebanon, whose government falls, causing war among Lebanese and Palestinian factions
1985 Mikhail Gorbachev is premier of Soviet Union: policies of glasnost and perestroika permit economic, political, and cultural liberalization
1986 In United States, Iran-contra scandal: secret, illegal sale of arms to Iran and diversion of funds to Nicaraguan rebels implicates high government officials
1989 Berlin Wall torn down; 1989-90, Soviet Union breaks up into independent states, with mostly noncommunist governments, along old ethnic and political boundaries; Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia divide; student demonstrations (estimated over 1 million) in favor of democracy, in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China, suppressed violently by Chinese military
1980s Rise of religious fundamentalism, especially among Moslems in the Middle East and Central Asia, Hindus in India and some Christian sects in the United States

1990-91 Gulf War: Iraq invades Kuwait, is repulsed by combined United Nations and United States armies
1990 Nelson Mandela, leader of the African National Congress and South African anti-apartheid movement, is freed from jail after 27 years; Germany reunifies
1991 Boris Yeltsin elected premier of Russia
1992 Civil war in states of the former Yugoslavia: ethnic and territorial disputes, some of ancient origin, in Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia
1993 Israeli-Palestinian peace accord ratified; threatened by extremist terrorist activity
1994 South Africa holds first multiracial elections: Nelson Mandela is president; apartheid laws are abandoned; civil war in Rwanda kills over 500,000 civilians in a few months;


Timeline Eight


1949 GEORGE ORWELL's novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four" creates a futuristic totalitarian world


authors the key feminist text The Second Sex

The Atomic Age:
1942, in United States, first nuclear chain reaction; 1943, first nuclear fission bomb; 1945, United States drops atomic bombs on Japanese
cities, killing over 100,000 instantly. 1949, first Soviet nuclear bomb; 1956, first nuclear electrical generators built in England; by 1970s, nuclear power in widespread commercial use
1946 Radio-carbon dating
1947 Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in Israel
1948 Thomas Merton, American Trappist monk, poet, and philosopher,
writes The Seven Starr Mountain

1950s Beat Generation: artists influenced by jazz whose works criticize
American postwar materialism and complacency:
1952 John Cage composes 4'11";
1956 Allen Ginsberg writes the narrative poem Howl;
1957 Tack Kerouac writes On the Road

1955 Lolita
, by

humorously explores the erotic relationship between an older man
and a young girl

с. 1950 Nuclear-powered submarines and ships in United States and
Soviet Union
1953 In England, James Watson and Francis Crick publish a model of the structure of DNA and hypothesize the transmission of genetic codes
1954 Jonas Salk invents polio vaccine Space Age begins: 1957, Sputnik, first satellite, launched by Soviet Union; 1961, first human orbit of the earth by Yuri Gagarin

1960 Richard Wright writes Native Son, on the African-American experience
с. 1965 British Invasion in popular music: the Beatles, the Rolling Stones,
and other rock-and-roll groups sell millions of albums
1967 In Colombia, Gabriel Garcia-Marquez
writes One Hundred Years of Solitude
1969 Woodstock Festival in Vermont draws 500,000 fans of rock and roll
1960 Laser technology developed
1963 Research in genetic engineering begins
in United States; 1976, synthesis achieved 1967 First human heart transplant,
by Dr. Christiaan Barnard, in South Africa
1969 United States' Apollo XI mission: Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin
walk on the moon; 1976, solar probe launched


 Russian writer whose novels describe life in a Soviet prison camp and
criticize the government, is exiled to the United States

1973 Three babies born in England through in-vitro fertilization
c. 1978 Personal computers widely available 1979 Near-meltdown of nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island electrical-power plant, in Pennsylvania; 1986, explosion of Chernobyl nuclear-power plant in Ukraine devastates the area and causes severe radiation poisoning, as well as contamination of atmosphere over much of Europe

1981 MTV (music television), introduced on cable television, brings the new medium of video music to a mass audience
1989 Anglo-Indian novelist Salman Rushdies Satanic Verses outrages
Islamic fundamentalists, who place him under a death threat and force
him into hiding
1981 First Space Shuttle, a reusable manned rocket, launched by
United States
1982 First artificial heart implanted
с. 1985 AIDS, identified as a new, incurable disease, spreads throughout the world and begins to claim thousands of lives: by 1995, HIV infection levels
reach epidemic proportions
1989 Voyager IT space probe passes Neptune and discovers a new moon

1990s New office technology: fax for transmission of documents; modem for electronic transmission of information; rapid development of computer programs with many applications; fiber-optic technology in widespread use
1990 Hubble space telescope launched

Abstract Expressionism - 1943

Optical Art - 1965

Pop Art - 1965

Happening & Performance Art

Body Art
- 1965

Minimalism - 1965

Arte Povera - 1967


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