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Art and the shaping of society: Russian posters and constructivism, 1917-1924

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Title: Art and the shaping of society: Russian posters and constructivism, 1917-1924
Author: Ruder, Adam
Advisor: Gerstein, Linda
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of History
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Running Time: 247521 bytes113331 bytes
Issue Date: 2003
Abstract: The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 brought optimism for social and political change to Russia. Visual artists turned this optimism into art both by glorifying the proletarian revolution and the ideology accompanying it and by challenging the artistic traditions to create a new type of art and expression. In the wake of the Revolution, these two ideas of revolutionary art merged in a variety of styles and forms. Two groups that exemplify what I would call Bolshevik revolutionary art were the poster artists of the Civil War era and the Constructivists, an avant-garde group from the era of NEP. They created art based on a theoretical belief that art can bring about a fundamental change in society and individuals in a collective socialist system. Poster art and Constructivism both envisioned a new society where the new worker reigns supreme in a land of industrialization and depicted this idea in their artwork and writings. To establish this future they found it necessary to create a new vision of the past, one that demonized bourgeoisie, priests, and "bourgeois" art styles. However, they were clearly different groups of artists with different results. Their distinct training backgrounds and historical contexts help explain their different results from similar goals.
Subject: Soviet Union -- History -- Revolution, 1917-1921 -- Art and the revolution
Subject: Posters -- Soviet Union
Subject: Constructivism (Art) -- Soviet Union
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Ruder, Adam. "Art and the shaping of society: Russian posters and constructivism, 1917-1924". 2003. Available electronically from

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