Revolution in Art

This design, called simply “October” in the Russian, exemplifies the extent to which the revolution and its results came to be celebrated and embedded in the arts.  Many other entries in this multilingual catalogue of early Soviet fabric designs feature motifs of practical and industrial life (tractors, rich harvests, factories).

The introduction talks of the “flourishing of mass propaganda art” after the revolution, saying that “textile design also shared in this flowering”.  Dedicated art and design exhibitions marking the 1917-2017 centenary have put on display in the UK examples of revolutionary decorative art otherwise rarely seen, such as china and porcelain pieces bearing Soviet propaganda.  Celebration in fabric is rarer still, certainly in terms of survival.  All examples in the book are housed in the Russian Museum, so the introduction explains, in a collection deliberately built in the early 1930s.   The samples in the book are divided into groups by the factory they were produced from.  “October” is the first of only four from the Vera Slutskaia Factory.  Slutskaia, a revolutionary, died in fighting only a few days after the October Revolution had started.

In future months, the role that the revolution played in art will be explored further.

Sovetskie tkani, 1920–1930-kh godov  / [avtor-sostavitelʹ I.M. IAsinskai︠a︡] (Leningrad : Khudozhnik RSFSR, 1977).  CCD.54.15