Author: Virginia McBride

A phalanx of soldiers stands at the center of the poster, waving red flags. A title beneath them reads "The 1st of May." They are flanked by peasants and workers. An angular, modern cityscape rises behind them.
Between Heaven and Earth: Icons of the Revolution
With raised flags and soaring spirits, soldiers, sailors, workers, and peasants rally together in this Soviet poster by Nikolai Kogout. United, they celebrate May first, International Workers’ Day. Conceived as a labor strike for an eight-hour workday, the holiday was adopted by Soviet leaders to commemorate the struggle of proletarian workers around the world. In...
Invitation with black and red text in Russian on beige ground, with dividing red vertical rectangle.
Mainstream Modernism: An Open Invitation
Arresting typography and geometric precision distinguish these Soviet-era tickets, and illustrate the permeation of fine art into daily life in the USSR. The tickets reflect the influence of constructivism, an avant-garde movement characterized by the same angular abstraction evident in these designs. Here, bold blocks of color are poised in asymmetrical balance. As in a...
Russian Constructivist-style costume design of grey-bearded old man in long blue robe and maroon coat and hat with black (fur?) trim. One up-turned hand is raised across figure's chest.
Costume on the Cutting Edge
This boyar may be old and wizened, but the costume he sports is cutting-edge. His cloak and cap seem to be cut from geometric patterns, in a modern take on medieval fashion. Boyars were high-ranking aristocrats who advised the princes of medieval Russia, but this one wouldn’t look out of place in a cubist or...