Krasnyi Manchester: Khudozhestvennyi al’bom. Ivanovo-Voznesenskaia guberniia. Ch. 1 [i.e. Red Manchester: Artistic Album. Ivanovo-Voznesensk Province. Part 1 [and all]
Ivanovo-Voznesensk: Izd. “Reklamprovintsii” pri gaz. “Rabochii krai”, 1925. Item #1516
[1-22], 25-123, , 135-240, , 241-355 = 356 (of 355 indicted) pp.: ill. 26x35 cm. In original full-cloth binding with blind lettering. No half-title. Spine and few leaves restored, endpapers renewed. Some soiling, otherwise very good.
Rare provincial edition.
Striking photo album containing over 450 photographs, drawings, diagrams and maps relating to a large Russian and Soviet manufacturing center in the city of Ivanovo-Voznesensk, also known at the time as Red Manchester. Among all the illustrations is a remarkable row of photomontages varying in complexity and subject-matter.
It was at Ivanovo-Voznesensk (and renamed Ivanovo in 1932) that arguably the most important strike of the 1905 revolution took place. It resulted in the establishment of the first Russian city council, or Soviet of Workers Deputies, and was therefore crucial to the later establishment of the Soviet Union. In the 19th century, Ivanovo-Voznesensk gained its reputation as the textile capital of Russia, the Russian Manchester.
In the early years of the Soviet Union, Ivanovo played host to experiments in “the new life for the socialist people”. Avant-garde and constructivist architectural projects were brought to life in the city. In particular, the first factory-kitchen was established here. The First and Second Workers’ Villages were built below Ivanovo, advocating the concept of garden cities. The textile manufacturing of this Russian or Red Manchester were intensively developed, processing vast cotton supplies from Soviet Central Asia.
Eclectic in its design, because of its time and place of origin, it combines an art-nouveau framework with a constructivist approach to the arrangement of the illustrative materials. Photomontages, used as propaganda art in the new epoch, are deployed to promote relevant values rather than old ones. An atheist composition is printed on p.79 promoting the socialist daily routine, which included sport and healthcare, but not religion: churches and priests are crossed out, and a boxer tramples down an Orthodox icon. One photomontage is devoted to the work and machinery of a local printing shop and, with the use of an advertisement, it promotes a workers’ newspaper, “Rabochii krai”, as the results of its labor; pictures of editors and other contributors to the newspaper are montaged into a separate composition. Other photomontages show a pharmaceutical laboratory and its employees; a state bank department with officials and banknotes; and museum collections with exhibits such as Old Slavonic printed books and manuscripts.
Also, the album contains bird’s-eye photos of Ivanovo, including views of churches, domestic dwellings, public buildings, a nursery, an aerodrome, cooperative and state groceries, provincial signboards, railroads and buildings under construction, and city-wide decorations to celebrate the first anniversary of the October Revolution. The album opens with a map of European Russia (on which Ivanovo is indicated), a separate map of the Ivanovo-Voznesensk Province, and a plan of Ivanovo-Voznesensk. Together, the illustrations provide a comprehensive representation of the city and its residents in the era of the New Economic Policy (NEP).
The second part of the “Red Manchester” book was to have been printed soon after. According to the publisher’s foreword, texts and illustrations had already been submitted to the printing shop. Nevertheless, only the first part was published.
Not found in Worldcat.