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Art Institute Exhibit Features Soviet WWII Posters

By Samantha Abernethy in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 18, 2011 7:20PM

Petr Ashotovich Sarkisian, Russian, 1922-1970, Liberate Our Brothers!, May 31, 1944, Gift of the USSR Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries

The Art Institute of Chicago revealed a new exhibit called Windows on the War: Soviet TASS Posters at Home and Abroad, 1941-1945 that shows a glimpse of that brief period of time when Americans and Soviets kind of got along. The exhibit is part of a citywide collaboration called the Soviet Arts Experience, highlighting dance, music, theater and art at venues across the city. The library at the University of Chicago is showing a sample of Soviet children's books.

The AIC exhibit is a collection of 157 posters promoting the Soviet World War II effort, created by TASS, the former USSR's official government-run news agencies. As war propaganda, the artistic merits of the massive posters -- five to 10 feet tall -- are supplemented by historical context.

The Art Institute writes:

By the end of 1946, it was clear that the wartime alliance against Fascism would be supplanted by old allegiances and enemies in a budding “cold” war. Likewise, images of camaraderie from the World War II era were quickly buried, and iconographies of fear and suspicion, with their roots in the prewar decades, reemerged.
These posters were found wrapped up in a basement in 1997. As we wrote before, the Art Institute has been using a tumblr account to show off some of the posters from the exhibit.

Tickets for Windows on the War: Soviet TASS Posters at Home and Abroad, 1941-1945 are available by clicking here.