On exhibit September 23 - November 22, 2019
Following the 1917 Revolution, Russian authorities encouraged the development of book design as a means of communicating official Soviet ideology. Many artists—both famous and unknown—were commissioned to create book illustrations. This exhibition focuses on four of them: Alexander Samokhvalov, Nikolay Ushin, Zoya Kruzhkova, and Nikolay Sheberstov, whose works reflect the three stages of the art form’s development: the 1920s, 1950s, and 1980s. The exhibition features book covers, original prints, and draft designs for Soviet-era novels as well as 19th-century reprints. The gems of the collection are two original lithographs by Alexander Samokhvalov. Most famous for his paintings—considered Russian classics of the 1920s-1930s—he was also an accomplished book illustrator. Other highlights include etchings by Zoya Khruzhkova for the now-forgotten pre-revolutionary Russian novel The Adventure of Blue Banknote, as well as draft designs by Nikolay Ushin and Nikolay Shebertsov with marks and corrections that reveal the book design process.