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Images from the Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Soviet Posters Collection, 1930-1932

This collection contains nineteen Soviet political posters produced in the early 1930s, collected by the American physicians Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin during two trips to the Soviet Union. The majority of the posters promote the First Five Year Plan (1928-1932), a series of industrial targets designed by the Stalinist regime to build up heavy industry in the Soviet Union. Most of the posters are in Ukrainian, with the remainder in Russian. The posters depict various aspects of the industrialization and militarization drive of this period, as well as general themes in the communist worldview and important moments in Marxist history.  Learn more by consulting the guide to the collection.

Soviet Arts ExperienceSelected images from the Bakwin Collection are being used in a web exhibit and upcoming gallery exhibition that is part of the Soviet Arts Experience showcase: 

Adventures in the Soviet Imaginary
August 22 - December 31, 2011
Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library, 1100 East 57th Street - www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/ - 773.702.8705 
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.¬-4:45 p.m.; Saturdays: 9:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m. when University of Chicago classes are in session. 

The Soviet Union was a world in pictures. A vibrant image culture based largely on new media revolutions facilitated its creation following the Russian revolutions and its re-making during Stalin’s Great Leap Forward, World War II, the Thaw, and Perestroika. Adventures in the Soviet Imaginary explores Soviet image culture through two of its most striking manifestations: the children’s book and the poster. Using examples drawn entirely from the University of Chicago Library’s collections, this exhibit plots the development of Soviet image culture alongside the formation of new social and cultural identities, from 1928 to the post-World War II period.

High Resolution Jpegs

These images are available for members of the media, and are reserved for editorial use in connection with the University of Chicago Library exhibitions, programs, collection, or related news.  Please e-mail Rachel Rosenberg or call 773-834-1519 if you have any questions.

Click on the thumbnails below for high resolution jpegs.  Credit the Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Soviet Posters Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library when using these images.

 

V. Deni, "Rot Front"

Red Front, Roter Frontkaempferbund in German, a paramilitary wing of the German Communist Party in the 1920s, worker standing over banking and exchange buildings, Dem'yan Bednyi poem, lithograph, 105 cm x 68 cm, 1932, Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Soviet Posters Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library

"Rot Front" (Red Front, Roter Frontkaempferbund in German, a paramilitary wing of the German Communist Party in the 1920s) worker standing over banking and exchange buildings

English translation of poem on poster by Robert Bird:

“Rot Front!” is the workers’ universal battle cry,
A threat to the whole band of bankers and stockbrokers.
The brokers have nary a day of peace,
Constantly faced with this.
They would attack us, but they’re afraid:
What an insult they’d get! Thunder strikes in our response:
“Hail the worldwide ROT FRONT!”
And no cannon or tanks will save the bankers then.
Their exchanges and banks will never withstand
The charge of the Rot-Fronters!
And the stockbrokers’ remains will fly
To the garbage heap!

 

"Donbas -- Until We Overcome"

Donets Basin in Eastern Ukraine, home to some of the largest factories in the Soviet Union, lithograph, 102 cm x 70 cm, undated, Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Soviet Posters Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library

Donbas -- Until We Overcome

 

"Long live the international socialist revolution!" quote by Lenin

Poster celebrating the 1917 revolution showing fleeing bankers, lithograph, 99.5 cm x 65.5 cm, undated, Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Soviet Posters Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library

Long live the international socialist revolution!

 

S. Kukurudza, "15 years of Struggle for the General Party Line 1917-1932"

Lithograph, 105 cm x 73 cm, 1932, Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Soviet Posters Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library

 15 Years of Struggle for the General Party Line 1917-1932

 

V. Deni, "The Gnat"

Dem'yan Bednyi poem, lithograph, 103.5 cm x 73.3 cm, undated, Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Soviet Posters Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library

The Gnat

 

B. Bilotlskii, "S.R.S.R.,"

Youth in the struggle for the cause of Lenin, lithograph, 103.2 cm x 71 cm, undated, Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Soviet Posters Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library

B. Bilotlskii, "S.R.S.R.," youth in the struggle for the cause of Lenin, lithograph, 103.2 cm x 71 cm, undated

 

Artillery soldier

Lithograph, 72 cm x 103.5 cm, 1931, Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Soviet Posters Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library

 Artillary soldier

 

N.V. Tsivchinskii, "The Victory of the Five Year Plan is a Strike Against Capitalism"

Lithograph, 104 cm x 70.2 cm, 1931, Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Soviet Posters Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library

The Victory of the Five Year Plan is a Strike Against Capitalism

 

Kaplan and Fridkin, "Agit No. 2"

Explaining the importance of changing work habits, lithograph, 147 cm x 71.5 cm, undated, Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Soviet Posters Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

 Kaplan and Fridkin, "Agit No. 2", explaining the importance of changing work habits, lithograph, 147 cm x 71.5 cm, undated

 

 N. C., "3690 Kilometers"

Poster for a new train line to the Ukraine, lithograph, 100.5 cm x 69.5 cm, 1931, Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Soviet Posters Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library

N. C., "3690 Kilometers," poster for a new train line to the Ukraine, lithograph, 100.5 cm x 69.5 cm, 1931

 

Paris Commune

Lithograph, 104 cm x 68.5 cm, undated, Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Soviet Posters Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library

Paris Commune 

"Proletariat Youth"

Lithograph, 106.3 cm x 71 cm, undated, Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Soviet Posters Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library

Proletariat Youth

 

"The Future Socialism"

Lithograph, 71 cm x 51.7 cm, undated, Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Soviet Posters Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library

The Future Socialism

 

G. Gritsenko, "One Million Komsomoltsy - Master of One Million Kilowatts"

Lithograph, 72.7 cm x 50.4 cm, 1931, Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Soviet Posters Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library

One Million Komsomoltsy - Master of One Million Kilowatts

 

"1,000,000 Silos, Pits, and Trenches"

Poster explaining the importance of properly storing grain, depicting the Komsomol's work, and issuing combat orders, lithograph, 70.3 cm x 52.5 cm, 1930, Dr. Harry Bakwin and Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Soviet Posters Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library

1,000,000 Silos, Pits, and Trenches