In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the production of children’s books flourished and created a whole new wave of radical illustrated works. Let’s take a look at a few examples currently on our shelves and the stories behind them.
The tumultuous events of 1917 caused great deprivation and shortages of materials. Printing houses were seized by the government and paper became incredibly scarce, essentially bringing publishing to a halt. As a result, several prominent artists, led by Vera Ermolaeva, founded an ‘Artel’ (a creative collective) under the name ‘Segodnia’ [Today].
The aim was to continue to produce groundbreaking work using the limited resources available to them at the time, meaning that all the group’s works are hand printed from linoleum blocks. The harsh conditions limited the format and edition size but in turn generated a new wave of children’s books that were hugely significant in the development of avant-garde art.