The Soviet Photobook 1920-1941


The first comprehensive survey of Soviet photobooks creat- ed in the crucial period from the 1920s into the first years of WWII.


ISBN: 9783958290310 Category:

Mikhail Karasik


The Soviet Union was unique in its formidable and dynamic use of the illustrated book as a means of propaganda. Through the book, the U.S.S.R. articulated its totalitarian ideologies and expressed its absolute power in an unprecedented way-through avant-garde writing and radical artistic design that was in full flower during the 1920s and ’30s. No other country, nation, government or political system promoted itself more by attracting and employing acclaimed members of the avant-garde. Among them were writers like Semion Kirsanov, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Ilya Selvinsky, Sergei Tretyakov and Kornely Zelinsky; artistic designers like Gustav Klutsis, Valentina Kulagina, El Lissitzky, Sergei Senkin, Varvara Stepanova, Solomon Telingater and Nikolai Troshin; and photographers including Dmitry Debabov, Vladimir Griuntal, Boris Ignatovich, Alexander Khlebnikov, Yeleazar Langman, Alexander Rodchenko, Georgy Petrusov-not to mention many of the best printers and book binders. The Soviet Photobook 1920-1941 presents 160 of the most stunning and elaborately produced photobooks from this period and includes more than 400 additional reference illustrations. The book also provides short biographies of the photobook contributors, some of whom are presented here for the first time.

Additional information

Weight 4055 g
Dimensions 27.3 x 28.9 cm
Publisher name Steidl
Publication date 1 January 2016
Number of pages 636
Format Hardback
Contributors Edited by Manfred Heiting
Dimensions 27.3 x 28.9 cm
Weight 4055 g


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Born in 1953, mikhail Karasik is an artist, publisher, curator of numerous exhibitions of book art, as well as the author of books and articles on the history of the soviet photobook and the Russian avant-garde culture of the early twentieth century. Karasik is one of the leading creators of artists' books in Russia and internationally. His works are held in the collections of major museums and libraries including the Russian state museum, the state Tretyakov Gallery, the Centre Pompidou, the British Library, the Victoria and albert museum, the Gutenberg-museum, the metropolitan museum of art, the Library of Congress, the Getty Research Institute and the art Institute of Chicago. Karasik lives in saint Petersburg.

Manfred Heiting is a collector, designer, curator and editor. His extensive career in photography includes director of design at Polaroid International, editorial director at american express and cofounder of Fotografie Forum Frankfurt, Foam-Fotomuseum amsterdam and project director of Deutsches Centrum für Fotografie, Berlin. He has curated over fifty exhibitions and designed, edited or published over forty books on photography. He established the Photographic study Program at the Rijksmuseum, amsterdam, and is a founding member of the Getty museum Photographs Council.