#2 1924, #16, 17 1925, #№30, 32, 33, 36, 37/38 1926, #49, 52, 53/54, 55/56, 61/62, 1927, unnumbered issue for 1927, #73, #75 1928. Overall 16 issues. Moscow: Trud i kniga, 1926-1928. In original photomontage wrappers. Spine repaired (#17, 37/38, 52, 53/54, 56/57, 61/62), small fragments of the spine lost (№2, №16, 30, 32, 36), occasionally chipped, some tears of extremities, some pencil and ink marks.
Print run varied from 5.500 to 10.000 copies depending on the number of subscribers.
The issues present the golden age of Soviet constructivism in the book design. The main artist of this periodical, Elena Semenova (1868-1986) graduated VKhUTEMAS and was a member of Inkhuk group. She was close with A. Rodchenko and V. Stepanova, the Vesnin brothers and Lavinsky. She designed books, magazines and posters using photomontage. In particular, Semenova produced about 70 cover designs, advertising posters as well as stage designs for ‘the Blue Blouse’ movement. Also one photomontage cover in our selection (#61/62) is designed by Vsevolod Sakhnovskii (1903–1989), theater and film artist who taught at VHUTEMAS and VHUTEIN. Among the illustrations are 5 costume designs by Stenberg brothers (#37/38 for 1926).
The ‘Blue Blouse’ movement rallied the agitprop theatre collectives in 1923-1933, promoting revolutionary art and contraposing themselves to the professional stage. First a small troupe, it was soon replicated across the country, and by 1927 there were 5000 troupes with more than a hundred thousand actors involved. This non-professional theater was established in almost every organization. Each ‘blue-blouser’ felt responsible for the whole team: during performance one person could become an illuminator, a singer, a makeup artist, a reciter, a gymnast, a dancer. The preparation of costumes required the considerable imagination: the cardboard collage was often used and could replace almost everything.
The “Blue Blouse” magazine was published in Moscow from 1924 to 1928 under edition of Boris Iuzhanin. It was intended to direct the different Blue Blouse groups. The periodical included troupes’ repertoires, guidelines, recommendations and also advised how performers might look. The issues frequently displayed the costume designs by member of the avant-garde ‘October’ art group, Nina Aizenberg (1902-1974) and theatre artist Nadezhda Blumenfeld. Both women participated in establishing experimental theatrical art. Apart from the costume designs, the issues were illustrated with photographs of the Blue Blouse groups, performing or posing together for the picture.
Considering themselves as the ‘Blue Blouse army’, the performers encouraged the free-thinking and innovative theatre ridiculing the day-to-day life in the Soviet Union.
Worldcat locates few paper issues in NYPL and Amherst.