The Experimental Art of Russian Children's Books
June 14, 2012 update
- online catalog added
- visitor feedback added
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Thank you all for the support with this project.
About the Exhibit
The Experimental Art of Russian Children's Books project, as part of the Read Russia 2012 books exhibition, is unique both with respect to its content and execution. For the first time, visitors will be able to see:
- illustrated children's books including upscale version of Vladimir Lebedev’s 1925 alphabet book
- the originals of books of the future from Moscow
- experimental letters, books and graphic constructions of the famous EDAS studio, which have long been recognized to be unique; not just because of their art quality, but also because of the age of their creators--from 3 to 16 years old.
- new online collections --“Rare Children’s Books” and newspaper “Pionerskaia Pravda” (1925-1929). These collections (to which access was limited in the past) include works of famous authors and illustrators. http://online.rgdb.ru
We will demonstrate an extensive
research project: “Illustrated Children's Books in the
History of Russia: 1881-1939,” 2 volumes containing 1,800
illustrations. The unique author index of over 190 names
includes brief biographical information and a glossary
which represents years of research work. The exhibition
will debut the English language edition of this award-winning
The goal of this exhibition is to demonstrate the continuity of the experimental experience of the past in the present Russian children’s illustrated books. This interconnection presents a new view at the ideological influence of early avant-garde and constructivism in the book production for children’s development and propaganda of the book culture.
The exhibition is sponsored by:
Free admittance. Please send questions about the exhibition and catalog requests to
“INSPIRING!!! I loved seeing the Russian Artists' handmade books. I wish the exhibit had been up longer so that I could have encouraged my colleagues and artist books students to see the work.”- Esther K Smith, Purgatory Pie Press, author of HOW TO MAKE BOOKS
“Your exhibition presents Russia's new image which flies in the face of the image created by media and modern literature.”- Viktor Raykin, Poet
“I would like to thank you for the exceptional exhibition which you brought to New York. The book illustrations are magical and the abstract works are unusual. One wouldn’t believe they were produced by children.. One suggestion for the future -- please inform public about this exhibit more broadly and in advance. I learned about the exhibit one day before its closing and plan to come back and bring my friends with. It is important that as many chidlren and parents as possible have a chance to see these illustrations and books.”- Dmitry Yarilin, Senior Scientist
“I feel sorry I couldn’t come to the exhibit a couple days earler when it just opened. I could have had a chance to come again and bring my friends along and to study the works of great masters of book illustration over and over again.. Your kids’ abstract work, presented at the exhibition, is stunning! Hope it will take place again. I saw many books illustrated by avangardists. However, seeing these illustrations on the walls and upscaled to high quality print posters is a whole new experience. The exhibit is worth showcasing at MoMA...”- Alla Umanskaya, School Librarian
“I love that you put together the past, present, and future. It was great to see the children’s art and all the exhibits. I wish you could extend the exhibition time, so more visitors would see it. Good luck.”- Lyudmila Babushkina, New York City Employee
“I was passed information about your showing of children’s book art via the Daily Heller Design SITE and I am so happy to have gone to see this show today! I was very sad to realize that all the catalogs were given out already at the opening night! Please let me know if you have any catalogs remaining or if a reprint may be in the future! Not only would I personally use them for my continued inspiration but also I would be thrilled to use them in my art/design classes that I teach here in NY at City University. I so LOVED your beautiful presentation and how it showed off the fabulous enlarged images you gathered to share. Thank you. It is very exciting to see so much of this (Russian) work with styles and symbols that so refresh and nourish. Also terrifically impressed with the children’s artwork from the Designers Workshop or School. Exceptional!”- Donelle Estey, Artist/Teacher, City University of New York