A collection of issues of the two famous Soviet architectural periodicals that together provide an insight into the unique marriage of the architectural aspirations and ideology of the Stalin’s epoch.
The “USSR architecture” was an illustrated monthly periodical that was published from 1933 until 1992 with some interruptions. It included overviews of the domestic architecture, building projects as well as articles on European and American architecture. The tone of reviews obeys a strict ideological framework. Articles about projects by Soviet architects are impregnated with pompous praise, whereas many of those reviewing architecture abroad overuse such notions as “battle”, “controversy of capitalism” and “crises”.
One of the most interesting projects that is featured in three issues offered here (No7 for the year 1936, No 5 for 1937 and No11 for 1937) is the famous USSR pavilion at the International Exposition dedicated to Art and Technology in Modern Life held in Paris in 1937. Designed by the B.M. Iofan the building was lined with Samarkand marble. The entrance to the pavilion was decorated with bas-reliefs by sculptor I.M. Chaikoff featuring the coats of arms of the USSR and 11 Union republics. The most notable part of the pavilion was the 24-meter sculptural group “A Worker and a Collective Farm Girl”, made of stainless steel after a design by Vera Mukhina, which symbolised the achievements of the socialist industrialisation.
The other periodical “The Construction of Moscow” was founded in 1923 and often featured stellar avant-garde designs by Gustav Klutsis, Vasilii Elkin, and El Lissitzky. It ran through the 1930s, but progressively became less and less modernist in terms of both form and content as time went on.
USSR Architecture (Organ Soyuza sovetskikh arkhitektorov, Moskva, 1936-37): 21 issues (1936: issues No3 – 12; 1937: issues No1 – 11), complete with all ll., original wrappers; occasional spotting and soiling, some occasional light mold, heavier to last 15 ll. of issue 9 for 1937, margins and spines of wrappers slightly chipped.
Construction of Moscow (Mossovet, Moskva, 1935-38): No6 and 17-18 for 1935; No4-8, 10-12 and 22 for 1936; No6, 12, 22 for 1937 and No16 for 1938,
most issues with plates, including some folding, original wrappers; some light marginal waterstaining in several issues, light soiling.
Stock ID: 92533