Soviet Art at Home and Abroad: National and International Exhibitions during the High Stalinist Period


Location: 213 DeBartolo Hall

The International Exposition of Modern Art and Industry, held in Paris in 1937, featured the famous standoff between the Soviet and German pavilions: the Soviet pavilion, topped by Vera Mukhina’s famous sculpture Worker and Collective Farm Woman, and the German pavilion, topped by the Nazi eagle and swastika, faced off against one another across the river Seine. But the “usefulness” of Mukhina’s sculpture was not limited only to international audiences: the sculpture made a reappearance at the First All-Union Agricultural Exhibition held in Moscow in 1939. This talk will discuss how the Soviet government used the Mukhina sculpture and other monumental works of socialist realist art to showcase cultural and political objectives before both international and domestic audiences in the period of High Stalinism.