Moscow: Leninsk. raikom VKP(b) i Raisovet, 1935. Item #1089
 pp.: ill. 37x27 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Very good. Slightly restored and soiled, double-leaf in the middle partly detached.
First and only edition. One of 2500 copies. Extremely rare with no copies in Worldcat.
Photomontage design was produced by Sergei Pomanskii, a little-known artist who contributed to Goznak banknote designs for a long time. He participated in the 1961 monetary reform replacing Lenin’s full-face portrait by his profile. This book was issued in the Goznak printing house. Interesting that the book cover also features a silhouette of Lenin behind Stalin’s photograph in profile. Photographs were provided by Mikhail Dubnov.
The book is related to the construction of 72 Moscow schools in 1935. It was implemented thanks to the early socialist emulation which grew up in the Stalinist era. Ten schools were built in the Lenin district: from the Kremlin to the Moscow University, including the most avant-garde city quarter along Shabolovskaya street.
In the 1920s, a system of education was changed, schools were opposed to pre-revolutionary gymnasiums. According to N. Krupskaia, the focus of educational institutions was on polytechnic programs and children studied various technical professions in workshops and laboratories. Apart from that, new principles of education included self-education and a brigade approach to learning. For these purposes, it was important to give students more public spaces for interaction and leisure time areas. This influenced the organization of internal planning and the whole school construction.
The book shows projects of architects L. Pavlov, N. Sheviakov, A. Antonov and I. Antipov, Khlynov, Medvedev. In the early 1930s, Anatolii Antonov (1899-1951) had already created some unusual school designs. In 1934, he was appointed the architect of a school under the Shukhov Tower. Later it became known as the Experimental School No.600 (on the Drovyanaya square). Despite its post-constructivist external decoration, the building had an asymmetrical plan and was based on constructivist principles. It was projected for 2400 students learning in three shifts - this type of school was called ‘shkola-gigant’ [giant school] in the 1920s. This institution had its own culture, held different events and even had a radio station with students’ broadcasts. In fact, the school design was completed later. A member of the ISTR society, artist A. Primenko taught art classes there and together with students decorated the interior with wall paintings on topics of new Moscow, the Palace of Soviets, etc. Some pictures of the original interior space are published in this book. Since the 1960s, the building was supervised by the Academy of Science as a platform for its experimental education but was abandoned some years ago.
Another school in the constructivist style was designed by a master of Moscow art-nouveau in architecture, Nikolai Sheviakov (1868-1941). This project was well-known because of people who changed their minds and raised their morality during the socialist emulation.
For ten construction sites, group pictures of working collectives, portraits of shock-workers, school facades, wall newspapers created in places were published. Also, the book included portraits of 43 directors of local enterprises, contributing to construction. The general plan of Moscow reconstruction is printed on verso of the front cover.
The book was circulated freely as the evidence of success.
No copies found in Worldcat.