Plastic art paper: toy and movable books in 1920s-1930s in Soviet Russia
Colloque hypertext link symbol La culture enfantine en URSS, 1917-1941 : objets, lieux et pratiques
Auteur(s) : Maslinskaya Svetlana
Durée : 40 minutes

Référence électronique : Maslinskaya Svetlana, « Plastic art paper: toy and movable books in 1920s-1930s in Soviet Russia » [en ligne], 2018, disponible sur, page consultée le 03/12/2021

Résumé de la communication

Publishing for children in the second half of 1920s was a complex system of multidirectional trends. Rising modernism and vanguard introduced playfulness that was not a priority to children’s literature before. At the same time, educational officials and pedagogical community requested new Soviet books for children that should be realistic in content and as close to the everyday Soviet life as possible. These conflicting trends in many respects defined the character of Soviet children’s literature of 1920-1930s.

Simultaneously, experiments with new ideas in book design triggered a notable transformation of the children’s book as an object, especially of the book addressed to the young children not yet able to read. The toy book became a field for the experiments in optical, auditory and tactile perception of a book. Books-building blocks, books-ribbons, books-folding screens, pop-up books became a topic for the artistic search for vanguard book designers.

Soviet pedagogues regarded toy books primarily as an educational tool, emphasizing its cognitive and developmental functions. They downplayed the entertaining function of such books that was strongly associated in their eyes with the pre-revolutionary entertaining publishing industry descending from European, and especially German tradition. Soviet book illustrators who were in the orbit of the artistic experiments of the Soviet vanguard art had to engage in futile dialogue with the utilitarian pedagogical approach to the children’s toy book. In my paper, I will examine how toy book of 1920s and 1930s became a battlefield for pedagogical and esthetical claims.

Plastic art paper: toy and movable books in 1920s-1930s in Soviet Russia [durée : 40 min.], Maslinskaya Svetlana

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