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16: ANONYMOUS ARTIST. Bread (Is) Earned by Labor, 1920

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Lot 0016 Details

Description
Trudovoi Khleb [Bread That Is Earned By Labor], a Military-Communism-period poster. Published by Glavkomtrud (Commission for Universal Labor), Moscow, 1920, 53.5 x 34 cm.

In the poster's caption, a worker tells the leisure class "No, citizens, you can't buy this bread. Show me your worker's book. Those who don't work, don't eat."

The Universal Labor principle that required every able-bodied citizen to work was codified in law, but not systematically enforced. The poster carries a second message that was clear to the 1920s viewer without being spelled out - one must have his or her worker's book in good order, or face serious difficulties in surviving this time of shortages and rationing. A worker's book contained the history of its owner's employment, and became an effective instrument for enforcing the emergency 1920 law that prohibited workers from changing jobs without permission.

Search extension words: Russian poster, Soviet poster.
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16: ANONYMOUS ARTIST. Bread (Is) Earned by Labor, 1920

Estimate $800 - $1,200Apr 22, 2012
Starting Price $800
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