Mikhail Solov’ev,Young Builders of Communism, Forward to New Successes in Work and Education, 1950
After 1950, the ‘Happy Childhood’ poster theme that had been a feature of much of the 1930s and the immediate postwar years slipped into the background and poster artists focussed on depicting obedient children and youth performing their duty to Stalin.
Youth are serious, committed and dutiful, as in ‘Young Builders of Communism, Forward to New Successes in Work and Education’ of 1950 by Mikhail Solov’ev.
The young woman looks straight out, just above the head of the viewer,to the present day. She carries an unidentified book under her arm. The young man carries a thick volume of writings by Lenin and Stalin, and looks to the viewer’s right – the future. Both are shown in smart business attire with white-collared shirts.
This new generation of Soviet youth are being provided with a technical and scientific education, preparing them to work smarter rather than harder to transition the nation from socialism to full communism.
Stalin, still very much alive in 1950, joins Lenin in the apotheosised position as a stony relief on a tasselled banner. Both are in profile and facing the viewer’s left, associating them with the past.
From this point on, Stalin is now almost always represented in one of three ways: as a visionary on a mission to save the world, as a portrait/icon, or as a frieze.
Dr Anita Pisch
Anita’s new, 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.
SPotW71 Deni 1935