Magazines for Soviet Tykes

Posted inThe Daily Heller
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The folks at Productive Arts have a knack for finding the most interesting Soviet-era journals. The two below were produced for Soviet children, and are the equivalent of American children’s My Weekly Reader. Find out more here.

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The Social Entertainer was published monthly by Molodaia gvardiia beginning in 1923 and running through 1941, and later from 1946–1953.

Rich in variety and content, these issues contained songs, dances, games, drawings, puzzles, poetry, stories, plays and informative articles. The 1940 #3 issue was devoted almost entirely to Mayakovsky’s poetry.

Productive Arts has 56 issues in all: nine from 1929; four from 1930; three each from 1931 and 1932; 16 from 1933; seven from 1934; one from each of 1935 and 1937; two from 1936; and 10 from 1940.

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Meanwhile, Pioner, the illustrated children’s journal, was published in Moscow (then under the banner of Molodaia gvardiia) starting as a monthly in 1924, then a semi-monthly from 1925-1929 and 1932-1935. It was later published as a monthly again from 1936 to present.

Productive Arts has 101 issues spanning the years 1927 through 1960 (with nine issues from 1960). Years 1955 and 1956 are complete. Though there are few issues in some years and none in others, each of the decades is represented in the group. As the years progressed, the artistic style evolved from Revolutionary to the fullest expression of Cold War, Socialist Realism.


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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →