While surfing the internet for old Soviet photos, I came across a blog called Iconic Photos. It’s a brilliant photography blog that discusses iconic photos both old and new. Below is a photo of Stalin’s funeral as well as an excerpt from Iconic Photos‘ post on it:
“On March 1st, 1953, the morning after an all-night dinner in his country estate outside Moscow centre, Joseph Stalin failed to rise at his usual time. He was discovered lying on the floor of his room only at about 10 p.m. in the evening. The Deputy Prime Minister Lavrentiy Beria was summoned, but neither he nor the politburo called the doctors until the next day. (A few months earlier, aging and paranoid Marshal Stalin fabricated a “Doctors Plot” to assassinate top Soviet leaders). With his drunken son Vasili storming around the room, and the members of the Politburo haplessly wringing their hands, Stalin died on 5th March, and his body was transported back to the city to lay in state at the Hall of Columns, the grand ballroom of the House of Trade Unions, where Lenin had lain in state too…”
To continue reading about Stalin’s death and other iconic photos of Stalin click here.
Also, to get an in-depth explanation of the Kremlin’s most recent internet faux pas, check out Iconic Photo’s post on the now infamous Alexey Navalny/Boris Berezovsky photo:
“Dad, will you tell me about the October Revolution”
“Well son, it was a little like a flash mob.”
Rasputin may be one of the most recognizable players to emerge from Russian history (in part due to the highly fictionalized Meg Ryan film Anastasia) but few people know the real history behind the man who seduced Alexandra Romanov. Good thing we have this Boney M video to help illuminate the facts….apparently he was quite the ladies man.
The Soviet propaganda posters of the 30s and 40s have always fascinated me, enough so that my favorite book about Soviet Russia, one I went back to again and again in my Russian Studies papers, is Iconography of Power by Victoria Bonnell. The book describes how the newly in power Bolsheviks used symbols and icons in order to create a false sense of unity within the disparate Soviet Republics.
So in light of my love of all things related to Soviet Iconography, I am beyond excited for the new exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago titled Windows on the War: Soviet TASS posters at home and abroad, 1941-1945. Featuring some of the most recognizable propaganda posters of the period like “The Motherland Calls” , “Save US” and “Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge” (see below), the exhibit will examine themes like USSR-USA relations and re-envisioning Russia’s historical past.
For more information on the exhibit please visit the Art Institute of Chicago’s website.