Stalin poster of the week is a weekly excursion into the fascinating world of propaganda posters of Iosif Stalin, leader of the USSR from 1929 until his death in 1953.
Here, Anita Pisch will showcase some of the most interesting Stalin posters, based on extensive research in the archives of the Russian State Library, and analyse what makes these images such successful propaganda.
Anita’s fully illustrated book, The personality cult of Stalin in Soviet posters, 1929 -1953, published by ANU Press, is available for free download here, and can also be purchased in hard copy from ANU Press.
As Iraklii Toidze is my favourite of the Stalinist poster artists, and this blog will draw to a close soon, I have decided to break with tradition and include several Toidze posters in a single edition.
Iraklii Moiseevich Toidze was born on March 14 (27) in 1902 in Tbilisi (Tiflis), Georgia. Son of the famous artist and architect Moiseia Toidze, Iraklii studied with his father and graduated from the Tbilisi Academy of Arts in 1930.
Toidze was a founding member of RevMas (the Tiflis branch of AKhR) with his father from 1928 and its successor SaRMa (Georgian Association of Revolutionary Artists) from 1931.
Toidze is well-known for having produced some of the most iconic and emotive poster images of the Great Patriotic War.
Important exhibitions included:
Fifteen Years of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army, Moscow 1933
Twenty Years of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army, Moscow 1938
Industry of Socialism, Moscow 1939
All-Union Art Exhibition, Moscow 1946, 47, 49, 50, 55.
Toidze was the recipient of several Stalin Prizes:
1941 Painting (1st class) – illustration of the poem “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin” by Shota Rustaveli (1937)
1948 Painting (1st class) – for “Speech I. Stalin at the solemn meeting devoted to the 24th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution “and a portrait I. Stalin
1949 Painting (2nd class) – illustrations for the book “Anthology of Georgian poetry”
1951 Graphics (3rd class) – for a series of illustrations for the book “History of Georgia”
Toidze was also awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour.
Anita Pisch‘s book, The personality cult of Stalin in Soviet posters, 1929 – 1953, is now available for free download through ANU Press open access, or to purchase in hard copy for $83. This lavishly illustrated book, featuring reproductions of over 130 posters, examines the way in which Stalin’s image in posters, symbolising the Bolshevik Party, the USSR state, and Bolshevik values and ideology, was used to create legitimacy for the Bolshevik government, to mobilise the population to make great sacrifices in order to industrialise and collectivise rapidly, and later to win the war, and to foster the development of a new type of Soviet person in a new utopian world.
Visit Anita Pisch’s website at www.anitapisch.com