Leningrad: Gosudarstvennoe izdatel’stvo, 1924. Item #1447
122,  pp. 18x13,5 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Spine and some pages’ edges restored, covers rubbed and soiled, otherwise very good and clean internally. Second edition.
Collection of 6 articles by Leonid Krasin, Erikh Gollerbakh, Ivan Fomin, Lev Ilyin and Iakov Tugenkhold.
Cover design was produced by Maxim Ushakov-Poskochin (1893-1943) who was a book illustrator, poster designer and caricaturist. He contributed to more than 200 editions. For this book, he created the laconic design that featured an avant-garde monument in its center. It resembles the Tower of Babel, Tatlin’s Monument (1919-1920) and a blank leaf for an unrealized project together.
Internal decorations, including avant-garde head-, tailpieces and vignettes, as well as a title page framed by Ancient columns, were created by Latvian artist and poster designer Sigismunds Vidbergs (1890-1970).
The importance of creating a monument to Lenin was comparable to the importance of a pharaoh’s pyramid. In January 1924, the country lost its leader whom people were learning to chant for some previous years. People could not imagine how they would fit all the greatness of Lenin’s image into one structure, whatever it may be, especially in just a sculpture. The controversy about its design and functions began during Lenin’s lifetime and intensified after his death.
Along with the monument of the memory, the construction for keeping Lenin’s body (its design and functions) was an important question. Soon after the death, a wooden tomb was built and became its repository up to 1930. The book demonstrates the second version of this temporary wooden structure designed by Alexei Shchusev that was depicted by V. Trivas. Next to that, a Cubist project of constant mausoleum by Igor Fomin was printed with no comments. Since the moment of its construction in 1930, the roof of the mausoleum was used as a tribune where Soviet authorities appeared for the public, as well as some guests during celebrations on Red Square.
As the first among equals, the monument of Lenin was planned to be built at Finland Station. The Academy of Arts held a competition of projects to depict Lenin speaking from atop an armored car. The book contains 5 projects that participated in it.
In opposite, the pompous monument that might have shown clearly the role of the first leader of the Communist party was never constructed. The book includes photographs of statues, bas-reliefs, busts by S. Merkulov, V. Mukhina, V. Andreev, I. Lazarev, I. Shadr, I. Mendeleevich and others, as well as projects created by 1924.
Despite this excitement, the synthetic monument glorifying Lenin and his input into the sociatist state had never been built. The book includes one project by A. Samokhvalov that might be considered an early project of the Palace of Soviets. Following projects for a competition would be created in the 1930s, including the winning project by B. Iofan that was supposed to be built.
Worldcat shows copies located in Harvard, Wisconsin, California, Washington Universities, Amherst and Concordia Colleges, NYPL.