When Galina Balashova designed her first space habitation module for Soviet cosmonauts, she drew a landscape on its interior wall, something that could remind them of home. In a 2015 interview, she said, "When I popped by to commission the final product they asked me where to procure the painting for the wall. When I replied that it was not needed I was reproached: 'No, it’s been signed off and so we will build it exactly that way.' So I sat down one night and painted pictures for the space capsules. Usually watercolors depicting Russian countryside. They all burned to nothing on re-entry." [more inside]
"Power and Architecture" is the name of the Calvert 22 Foundation's "season on utopian public space and the quest for new national identities across the post-Soviet world." Included in the "curated digital content" being published as part of the season is "Restricted Areas," a series by Russian photographer Danila Tkachenko, who photographs "abandoned buildings of almost inhuman complexity.” [more inside]
Out with bourgeois crocodiles! How the Soviets rewrote children's books (Guardian). A new exhibition, A New Childhood: Picture Books from Soviet Russia, will be at the House of Illustration. [more inside]
Russiatrek.org's blog has a nice collection of Soviet propaganda posters. Soviet space program 1958-1963 Part 1. Part 2. International Workers' Day. Soviet Patriotism. Soviet propaganda - the beginning 1917-1923. Stalin's Soviet Union tourism posters. Socialism vs. Capitalism. WWII Part 1. Part 2. Soviet posters of the 1970's. The blog's art category.
Warning! The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased, entry for the United States of America
Akhmatova's work ranges from short lyric poems to intricately structured cycles, such as Requiem (1935–40), her tragic masterpiece about the Stalinist terror. Her style, characterised by its economy and emotional restraint, was strikingly original and distinctive to her contemporaries. The strong and clear leading female voice struck a new chord in Russian poetry. Her writing can be said to fall into two periods – the early work (1912–25) and her later work (from around 1936 until her death), divided by a decade of reduced literary output. Her work was condemned and censored by Stalinist authorities and she is notable for choosing not to emigrate, and remaining in Russia, acting as witness to the atrocities around her. [more inside]
A visually inventive, super-stylized, 27 minute Soviet cartoon telling of The Little Mermaid / Rusalochka from 1968.
An ever increasing accumulation of film stills from Sergei Bondarchuk's 8-hour long epic film adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace [more inside]
"This is a regular Russian school biology textbook owned by some Russian school. He has modified some illustrations so now it’s hard to say sometimes what was there originally and what has appeared as a result of his imagination."
A Soviet Poster A Day delivers what it promises, one propaganda rich helping of Soviet art every day to help you on your daily doings.
That the first space race was politically motivated shouldn't detract from your enjoyment of Soviet propaganda space art. More here and here.
Metafilter's own Fake, Dan Reetz, recently spent several months in the former Soviet Union; while there he managed to round up this great selection of Soviet Movie posters from 1921-1973, as well as this interesting 1952 set of food drawings from the government produced book "Tasty & Healthy Eating." Finally, bonus content for anyone jonesing for more soviet content, this Russian Winnie the Pooh cartoon from the 1970s is fantastic. (via)
The Parade of the Red Army and other scans of Soviet Children's Books from the '20's and '30's. [via DaddyTypes]
You heard it here first, ex-soviet, a blog for all the soviet music fan in us all.
Fabulous images of the Moscow Metro underground, also known as "the people's palaces". Click "M"s on the entry map to view gorgeous (often architecturally surreal) panoramic images, and visit the picture gallery for sweet details. Via Jorgen at Viewropa.
A large catalog of interesting handmade Russian chess sets. Some that caught my eye: Soviet vs. American; "Soviet-Fascist Chess" (note the kings); and American vs. Russian politicians (note the American queen).