Moscow: Moskovskii rabochii, 1940. Item #1662
164 pp., 20 ills. 22x17,5 cm. In original cloth with lettering and a photograph mounted on the front cover; granite-patterned endpapers. Slightly rubbed and soiled, otherwise very good.
First and only edition. One of 5000 copies. Very rare in this condition.
A fascinating example of book design by Solomon Telingater (1903-1969) and the finest edition glorifying the Palace of Soviets.
The edition masterfully echoed Telingater’s principle of making a book a sophisticated artistic construction. Due to his significant experience in type design and printing processes, Telingater was entrusted to do whatever he wanted in a printing shop. He could print and correct every page as often as it took until he was satisfied. This particular mock-up was created with small monochrome drawings going along the text. They feature world constructions, some masterpieces of Soviet architecture built during industrialization, and various projects of the Palace of Soviets. Twenty inserts included photographs by A. Sorkin and drawings by Boris Rybchenkov made on the construction site, capturing the implemented operations. Apart from them, projects of the whole building, its parts, and illustrations relating to its interior are featured. The granite-patterned endpapers resonated with the external facing of the building. One of the chapters was devoted to the materials chosen. According to the book, several expeditions had been organized, and only Caucasian light granite fitted the requirements.
The book comprehensively analyzed a project of the Palace of Soviets as a triumph of contemporary architecture, combining possible and nearly impossible. The number of decorations in the project was close to fantasy. For example, all wall paintings could have occupied an area comparable to six Red Squares. Involving folk art masters from all over the country, art objects of all techniques and materials were planned. Creators paid particular attention to problems of acoustics, crowd arranging, electrification, cleaning, and air supply - the whole Weather Factory was designed for air conditioning. Telephone, telegraph, and post services were also supposed to be.
The author Nikolai Atarov (1907-1978) was not an architect but a writer able to spectacularly tell about the main project of the century, a symbol of Soviet power and triumph, the center of new Moscow. “Borders of countries will disappear. Communist settlements, not like old cities, will arise. The Palace of Soviets, crowned with the Ilyich statue, will still stand on the bank of the Moscow River”.
Worldcat shows printed copies located in Princeton, Yale, Columbia and North Carolina Universities.