Moscow: Izd-vo Akad. arkhitekturi SSSR, 1940. Item #1661
8 pp.,  pp. of ill. 19.5x26 cm. In original publisher’s illustrated wrappers. Tears of the spine, light damp stain at the lower left part of the front wrappers, otherwise in a very good condition.
Scarce. First edition. 1 of 5,000 copies. Edited by Z. Katsnelson. Front wrapper design by the Soviet artist A. Surikov.
AN INTERESTING PHOTO ALBUM DEDICATED TO THE ARCHITECTURE AND CONSTRUCTION OF FRUNZE MILITARY ACADEMY, ONE OF THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS MILITARY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS IN THE SOVIET UNION.
The early battles of the Red Army during the first stages of the Russian Civil War demonstrated that battlefield commands could not be given to former workers and soldiers with little experience with tactics. As a result, on October 7, 1918, the Revolutionary Military Council ordered the foundation of the General Staff Academy of the Red Army, based in Moscow, and taking on the functions of the Imperial-era General Staff Academy. The first intake of students, who joined on November 25 that year, numbered 183, with the official opening of the Academy taking place on December 8, 1918.
In 1931, Soviet authorities announced an architectural competition for the Military Academy of M. Frunze project. According to the program of the competition, "with its architectural and artistic design, the building should express the strength and might of the Red Army, and in its internal layout, ensure high military and political training of the commander of the Red Army." Among the contestants were such famous Soviet architects as Konstantin Melnikov, Ivan Fomin, Mikhail Minkus, Lev Rudnev, and Vladimir Munts. The first place was awarded to the project of L. Rudnev and V. Munz. The layout captivated with its laconicism, elaboration of details, and brutal monumentality, which most accurately met the tasks set for the contestants. The building was constructed in 1937 and hosted the Military Academy of M. Frunze until 1998 when it was transformed into the Combined Arms Academy of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (the building is active presently).
Published a few months before the outburst of the Great Patriotic War, the edition includes an introductory article dedicated to the architectural description of the building and 25 black and white illustrations showcasing different parts of the newly-erected Academy, including the main view, central entrance, entrance doors, door detail, mosaic panel, central staircase, sculptural bas-relief, main staircase ceiling caisson, meeting room, study, barber shop with antique equipment, baths, dining room, etc. The album is fascinating as it provides a rare illustrative insight into the face of the newly-built Academy and captures its initial appearance before the Academy experienced a number of changes in design over time.
Worldcat shows 4 copies of the edition at Columbia University, UC Berkeley Libraries, University of California, and University of Texas.