(DS.5) No to Fascism!.jpg
(DS.25) Marxism-Leninism.jpg
(DS.43) October 7th- Constitution Day of the USSR.jpg
(DS.19) To Be Stopped!.jpg


Darker Shades of Red provides visitors with a rare opportunity to revisit the Cold War period. Strikingly graphic in its socialist imagery, the collection reveals the economic, social, and political ideology of the Soviet Union from the mid 1940s to 1990.


From the time of the Bolshevik Revolution, the poster was implemented as a persuasive tool promoting Soviet ideology. Leaders placed a high priority on communicating the ideas of revolution, socialism and social responsibility to its citizenry. Posters were used to shape and direct mass consciousness in accordance with Communist Party objectives. Symbolic images of Soviet leaders, soldiers, workers, and peasants were common heroic motifs; images of machinery symbolized productivity in industry and farming. Locomotives, sputniks and rockets suggested progress and achievement. This patriotic information was communicated to the public through dynamic compositions that combined figures, text (often poetry) and geometric blocks of color.


Post World War II tensions between the Soviet Union and the West lead to the beginning of the Cold War. Fear of nuclear proliferation and anti-west sentiments were often reflected in Soviet posters during the decades that followed. Civil defense posters illustrated how to prepare for a nuclear attack. Caricatures of American and British leaders depicted the West and its political structure as the enemy of the Soviet people.


Propaganda images also filtered down into the homes and daily lives of people. All schools, shops, factories, apartment buildings and public spaces were splashed with Soviet images. In this closed society, there were no competing images; people were exposed only to what was seen as fulfilling the goals of the Party. Common objects such as postcards and even children’s books had to reinforce Communist objectives. By looking at these official images, we are given an insider’s perspective into life in a totalitarian society.

Flying into a Rage
Flying into a Rage

M. Abramov. 1980

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Proletariat of All Countries, Unite!
Proletariat of All Countries, Unite!

Getman. 1978

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We'll Build Our New World
We'll Build Our New World

Artsrunjam. 1969

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Flying into a Rage
Flying into a Rage

M. Abramov. 1980

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installation of traveling exhibits russian posters
installation of traveling exhibits russian posters

Darker Shades of Red Installation: Springfield Art Association Gallery, Springfield, IL.


Gallery at University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL

Durham Western Heritage Museum, Omaha, NE

Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND

Thompson Gallery at San Jose State University, San Jose, CA

Springfield Art Association, Springfield, IL

Snite Museum of Art at University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN

Chung Chan Art Gallery at St. John's University, Queens, NY

Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens, Winter Park, FL

Museum of Russian Icons, Clinton, MA

St. Mary's College Museum of Art, Moraga, CA


August through September 1998

February through April 1999

February through April 2001

October through November 2001

February through April 2003

September through November 2004

September through November 2006

September 2011 through January 2012

June through August 2014

February through May 2018











55 framed posters dating from the mid 1940s to 1990.




500 - 900 linear feet


$600 / week (no min/max rental length)