As a child, I was taught to fear Soviet Russia. Everyone has heard the stories of how we 1950’s kids had to participate in drills, where we were made to get on the floor and huddle under our desks. Because doing that would save our lives during a Soviet-launched nuclear attack, which was always just moments away.
Seattle, WA’s Frye Art Museum, “the free art museum”, is presenting an amazing exhibit of Soviet “propaganda” posters through April 3, 2016. The posters date back quite a bit before the 50’s. Most were made in the 1920’s. I visited the museum and photographed every poster. Several were quite striking. These particular posters are a set of reproductions printed in 1967. I’m posting them here “in case you missed it”, and because Frye art allows photography. — That in addition to offering free admission.
Charles Frye (1858–1940) and his wife Emma (1860-1934) moved from Iowa to Seattle, in 1888. He established a huge meat packing business, and accumulated great wealth. The Fryes became avid collectors and patrons of the arts. Their collection became the founding collection of the Frye Art Museum, which opened on February 8, 1952. They endowed the museum with sufficient funding so that it would always be free to the public.
With four exceptions, I’m not going to critique the posters, try to interpret their meaning here or comment about them. I’m simply going to document the exhibit by displaying my photos of the posters, with artist’s names, if known, and the dates the posters were created. In several cases, the artists’ names are not known. I hope you enjoy viewing the posters. My feeling is: this exhibit is too amazing not to be shared. And thanks to The Frye, I am sharing.
I couldn’t really set up my shots; I just quickly took them. The museum was crowded and I needed to stay out of the way of other visitors. This post isn’t about my photography skills!
*While the Frye gives no date, my Hungarian surrogate nephew, Peter Garami, lists the date as 1925. Since Peter has never steered me wrong, I am going with that.
Go here for more information on the history of the Frye Art Museum: http://fryemuseum.org/history/
To view many more posters, including some of a newer vintage, see Brown University’s post: http://library.brown.edu/cds/Views_and_Reviews/medium_lists/posters.html