Vintage travel posters show a softer side of the Soviet Union

In the 1920s and '30s, the Soviet Union wanted to attract wealthy European and American tourists to raise funds for its planned industrialization.

So it commissioned emerging artists to make a series of posters, magazine ads, and textile designs that portrayed the USSR as a country of leisure, comfort, and luxury.

Recently featured in an exhibition at London's Gallery for Russian Arts and Design (GRAD) called "See USSR," the vintage propaganda illustrates a different, softer side of the Soviet Union.

The posters and art were originally commissioned by a government organization known as Intourist, which was responsible for foreign tourism in the Soviet Union. They were modeled on the art deco style that was used at the time to advertise European destinations and were printed in English.

"Through Intourist's posters you really see this country that never existed," curator and director of the gallery Elena Sudakova told the Creative Review. "They used this European language, this very glamorous language. They are trying to attract European and American tourists, by means of the language that was familiar to them."

Check out some of the posters below.

What will you see on your visit to the USSR?

Image courtesy GRAD: Gallery for Russian Arts and Design and Antikbar.co.uk

Early Intourist poster by Aleksandr Froloff (1930).

Driving through the mountains has never been so fun and leisurely.

Image courtesy GRAD: Gallery for Russian Arts and Design and Antikbar.co.uk

Poster by Aleksandr Zhitomirsky (1939).

Relax and get healthy at the Soviet Union's health resorts.

Image courtesy GRAD: Gallery for Russian Arts and Design and Antikbar.co.uk

Poster by Maria Nesterova-Berzina (1930s).

"This is more than a pleasure trip, this is a voyage into a new world!"

Image courtesy GRAD: Gallery for Russian Arts and Design and Antikbar.co.uk

Poster by Nikolay Zhukov and Viktor Klimashin (1935).




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