The funds of the Museum of V.I. Lenin contain a unique collection of Soviet political posters, numbering over 17,000 exhibits. The collection of Soviet political posters reflects important milestones in Soviet history which began with the October Revolution.
This collection was based on the admissions from the Institute of Marxism-Leninism; later, the source of acquisition were gifts from authors, labor collectives, delegates of congresses and foreign guests. In the 1960s – 1980s the collection was being replenished as a result of the collecting work of the department’s research staff.
Masters of propaganda art, poster artists created undeniable masterpieces and raised the art of poster to an unprecedented height. Posters in the USSR, originally intended to agitate and promote political ideas, turned into self-sufficient, highly artistic works. It was the poster that was intended to become a mass means of artistic propaganda of the main events of Soviet history.
The first years after October were marked by artists take to the streets and squares. Poet Vladimir Mayakovsky gave an aphoristic expression to the slogan “Art into the street!”: “The streets are our brushes, the squares are our palettes.” In early posters dedicated to the anniversaries of October, various symbols and new allegories were often used: the sun rising above the horizon, a shining rainbow, locomotives rushing at full speed, factories and plants with smoking chimneys, etc. At the same time, colorful propaganda sheets participated in the popularization of new symbols of Soviet heraldry.
From the very beginning, the Soviet poster was intended to confirm in the public consciousness a new assessment of a person. His main valor was proclaimed to be a work full of revolutionary heroism. Posters of the post-revolutionary years reflected the worldview of the lower classes, who felt themselves, albeit for a short time, the masters of the country.
Later, the Soviet political poster also participated in the formation of the image and values of the defender of the Socialist Fatherland in the mass public consciousness. The Soviet political poster immediately became a truly mass means of agitation and political-educational work. The importance that the new authorities attached to poster propaganda was at least demonstrated by the fact that the transportation of political propaganda posters was equated with the delivery of urgent military supplies.