Vintage Travel Posters Show A Softer Side Of The Soviet Union

In the 1920s and ’30s, the Soviet Union wanted to attract wealthy European and American tourists to raise funds for its planned industrialisation.

So it commissioned emerging artists to make a series of posters, magazine ads, and textile designs that portrayed the USSR as a country of leisure, comfort, and luxury.

Recently featured in an exhibition at London’s Gallery for Russian Arts and Design (GRAD) called “See USSR,” the vintage propaganda illustrates a different, softer side of the Soviet Union.

The posters and art were originally commissioned by a government organisation known as Intourist, which was responsible for foreign tourism in the Soviet Union. They were modelled on the art deco style that was used at the time to advertise European destinations and were printed in English.

“Through Intourist’s posters you really see this country that never existed,” curator and director of the gallery Elena Sudakova told the Creative Review. “They used this European language, this very glamorous language. They are trying to attract European and American tourists, by means of the language that was familiar to them.”

Check out some of the posters below.

What will you see on your visit to the USSR?

USSR posters for tourism 1930Image courtesy GRAD: Gallery for Russian Arts and Design and Intourist poster by Aleksandr Froloff (1930).

Driving through the mountains has never been so fun and leisurely.

Relax and get healthy at the Soviet Union’s health resorts.

“This is more than a pleasure trip, this is a voyage into a new world!”

USSR propaganda poster 1935Image courtesy GRAD: Gallery for Russian Arts and Design and by Nikolay Zhukov and Viktor Klimashin (1935).

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