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35: ANONYMOUS ARTIST. Russia, Help the Donetsk Miners

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Lot 0035 Details

Description
Rossiya, na pomosh Donetskomu shakhteru [Russia, Help the Donetsk Region Miners], a poster by an anonymous artist. Published by GIZ, Moscow, 1921, 95 x 67 cm.

The poster's title and the large quote in the center come from Trotsky's letter published in November 1920, after Trotsky, who considered the uninterrupted operation of coal mines through the winter a necessary condition for the survival of the Republic, had paid an inspection visit to the region. Needless to say, many archive copies were intentionally destroyed during the Stalinist era. More interestingly, calls to remove the poster originally surfaced much earlier. Mayakovsky, in his speech Visual Arts and Industrial Propaganda, given at the March 1921 All-Union Conference on Industrial Propaganda, complained that the poster (and the poster offered as a next lot) came out too late:

“These posters were ordered by the Mining Council, with an approval from the Central Committee of the Miners Union, at the time of the Donbass inspection (by Trotsky), several months ago. Now these posters are published. Were they published in time, they would have had revolutionary significance...Now the poster works for counter-revolution, because the workers interpret it in the following way: 'You are asking us, who have no food, no immediate necessities, to send food to Donbass?' The poster that is late in publishing acquires an opposite, counter-revolutionary meaning, and, Comrades, most of our posters, most of the primitive poster propaganda, had been appearing with a delay.”

The poet's reasoning, while strategically flawed - the country needed coal not just for winter heating - is, nevertheless of considerable interest, as it reflected a popular sentiment.

Search extension words: Russian poster, Soviet poster.
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35: ANONYMOUS ARTIST. Russia, Help the Donetsk Miners

Estimate $500 - $700Apr 22, 2012
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