Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

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Soviet WWII Propaganda Posters In Chicago

Glory to the Soviet Youth!, August 31, 1945

The Art Institute of Chicago is currently exhibiting a collection of 250 massive Soviet propaganda posters dating from 1941-1945. Incredibly, these meticulously stenciled works were hidden away in Chicago for over half a century before being rediscovered.

They explain: "In 1997, 26 tightly wrapped brown paper parcels were discovered deep in a storage area for the Department of Prints and Drawings. Their presence was a mystery, their contents a puzzle. As conservators and curators carefully worked to open the envelopes, they were surprised and intrigued to find that they contained 50-year-old monumental posters created by TASS, the Soviet Union’s news agency. The idea for a major exhibition began to take shape.

Impressively large—between five and ten feet tall—and striking in the vibrancy and texture of the stencil medium—some demanded 60 to 70 different stencils and color divisions—these posters were originally sent abroad, including to the Art Institute, to serve as international cultural 'ambassadors' and to rally allied and neutral nations to the endeavors of the Soviet Union, a partner of the United States and Great Britain in the fight against Nazi Germany."

Tass-Ghost

A Terrible Ghost, TASS No. 0901, February 4, 1944

Stencil
1670 x 869 mm
February 2 is the anniversary of the defeat of the German Fascist forces at Stalingrad.

Hitler can’t sleep. Through the darkness
A skeleton appears to him.
Goosebumps rise on his skin.
“Remember, Hitler, Stalingrad!
We died there a year ago –
Soon the same will happen to you!”

Windows on the War: Soviet TASS Posters at Home and Abroad, 1941–1945 runs until October 23, 2011 at The Art Institute of Chicago. Admission is $18 ($12 for students and seniors).

 

Tass-spiders

Spiders in a Jar, August 12, 1942

 

Tass-hour

The Hour Approaches, TASS No. 0985, May 26, 1944

Stencil
1316 x 1040 mm

From a ruthless awesome punishment
He will not escape, the German octopus.
Blows threaten the monster:
Now here, now there.

 

Tass-Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis of the "Fritzes", TASS No. 0640, January 15, 1943

Stencil
1735 x 1240 mm
Like wild animals, with savage howls
They lunge into a roaring stream.
This is Hitler, row by row,
Chasing the "Fritzes" toward the East.

Here, every window hides a sniper;
Here, the bushes conceal death;
Here, swallowing the stranger's land
The misled "Fritzes"
Metamorphose into crosses.

Death to the German swine
Is not some sorcery;
It is the battle triumphant
Of the Soviet Army!

Windows on the War: Soviet TASS Posters at Home and Abroad, 1941–1945 runs until October 23, 2011 at The Art Institute of Chicago. Admission is $18 ($12 for students and seniors).

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