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  • Soviet Visuals

In the USSR, wild mushrooms were a much loved and affordable delicacy. There were lots of ways to use them in meals: mushrooms were fried, baked, grilled, added as a filling for pastries and dumplings, marinated, salted and served as a snack to ice vodka. Sometimes, rumours about poisoning would go around, but every mushroom picker knew the right method

to distinguish safe mushrooms from poisonous ones. Anthropomorphic mushrooms were the characters of Russian fairy tales. In a famous 1991 televised hoax, Soviet musician Sergei Kuryokhin and reporter Sergei Sholokhov stated that Vladimir Lenin was a mushroom.

Illustration from "Mushrooms of the USSR" guidebook, 1980


Still from "Morozko" 1964 Soviet romantic fantasy film based on a traditional Russian fairy tale.


Marinated mushrooms by Andreevsky forestry enterprise. Photo by Viktor Akhlomov, Vladimir region, USSR, 1974


"Edible and poisonous mushrooms of the Central Black Earth Region", book cover, 1986


"Sale of mushrooms on the Danilovsky collective farm market" Photo by B. Anthony Stewart, Moscow, 1959


"Edible and poisonous mushrooms" booklet, 1965


Pencil holder, 1978


“Mushroom picker guide for the Northwest and Central European part of the USSR", 1985


"Mushrooms are a miracle of nature" booklet, 1966


Desk lamp, 1970s


"Tale of Mushrooms" booklet, 1924


Still from the 'Lenin is a Mushroom' TV hoax, 1991


"When picking mushrooms, save the mycelium!" environmental poster, 1965


"Polissya Robinsons" film poster, 1934


New Year tree decoration, 1950s


"Mushrooms" poetry book for kids, 1930


"Mushroom pickers" painting by Tatyana Yeremina, 1953


"Mukhomor" ( Amanita muscaria) art group: Alexey Kamensky, Sergey Mironenko, Konstantin Zvezdochetov, Vladimir Mironenko, Sven Gundlakh. Moscow, 1981


"We are coming, we are coming - we’ll exterminate the entire bourgeoisie”

1924 illustration from children’s magazine Murzilka.


Mushroom cloud from RDS-1, the first nuclear weapon detonated by the Soviet Union. Semipalatinsk Test Site, 29 August 1949



  • Soviet Visuals

Updated: 5 days ago



Soviet headdresses most often followed Western fashion with a slight delay. But there were also peculiar specimen.



"Moda" fashion magazine autumn/winter 1967-1968

Chairman of the Council of Ministers Alexei Kosygin and General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Leonid Brezhnev on the tribune of Lenin's Mausoleum. Photo by Vladimir Musaelyan. Moscow,1975

"USSR in Construction" magazine, 1935

Kindergarten boys. Photo by Margaret Bourke-White, 1941

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Moscow. Photo by P.Kassin, 1988


"Sunday Disco" painting by Igor Simonov,1988

Family archive photo, 1970s

"Women's headgear" advertising poster, 1953

"Russian Snow" painting by Vitaly Polyakov, 1967

Vladimir Lenin in disguise, 1917

"The Provincial Beauty" painting by Evgeny Shukaev,1973

Soviet soldiers after withdrawal from Afghanistan. Photo by Vitaly Armand, Termez, Uzbek SSR, 1989

Fashion model. Photo by I.Kuksov, 1965


Actress Zinaida Reich as Phosphoric Woman in "The Bathhouse" play by Vladimir Mayakovsky, production by Vsevolod Meyerhold. Photo by Alexey Temerin,1930

"Men's rice straw hats" advertising poster, 1952

"Red Army guard on duty" photo by Arkady Shaikhet,1925

Post-Soviet visual. First McDonald's in Moscow. Photo by Martin Parr, 1992

Soldier at military parade. Photo by Ivan Shagin, Moscow, 1940

Premier Nikita Khrushchev at a Collective Farm in Nevinnomyssk, Stavropol Krai, 1958

Cheka secret police agents,1921


Khabarovsk girl. Photo by Dean Conger, 1970s

  • Soviet Visuals

“We comes from God, I from the Devil.” ― Yevgeny Zamyatin, We

Soviet people received their first experience of living together already in kindergarten, where strong-willed and omnipotent educators encouraged children to find their role in a group of peers. Later on those skills were useful in young pioneer camps, communal apartments, in the army barracks, and for many in penal colonies.



New Year party at a kindergarten, 1950

Morning performance at a kindergartenPhoto by Dilip Mehta, 1980

Pioneer (Ignalina). Photo by Antanas Sutkus, 1964

"Young pioneer is loyal to the Motherland, the party, communism" postcard, 1969

Young pioneer at Artek Summer camp, 1939

"Militiaman" painting by Konstantin Vyalov, 1923

School children at the Lenin museum, Kiev, Ukrainian SSR, 1954



In the nursery of the Kupavinsky Fine Cloth Factory. Photo by Valentin Khukhlaev, 1956


Young pioneers in defense drill. Photo by Viktor Bulla, Leningrad, 1937

Parents came to visit their children at Zenkovo young pioneer camp. Photo by Vladimir Sokolaev, 1985