DARKER SHADES OF RED
SOVIET PROPAGANDA POSTERS FROM THE COLD WAR ERA
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.
Darker Shades of Red Installation: Springfield Art Association Gallery, Springfield, IL.
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
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
SECURITY REQUIREMENT :
SPACE REQUIREMENT :
RENTAL FEE :
TOURING UNTIL :
55 framed posters dating from the mid 1940s to 1990.
500 - 900 linear feet
$600 / week (no min/max rental length)