joseph stalin
joseph stalin

Starting in 1927, Josef Dzhugashvili—better known as Stalin—initiated the first of the Soviet Union’s five-year plans, which focused on harnessing all economic power to the state. Industrialization proceeded apace and peasants were brutally collectivized. Artists were next on his list.

joseph stalin

Hymn to October, 1942, Alexander Gerasimov

In 1932, the Soviet state proclaimed that all artists must embrace the Socialist Realist philosophy and style. Its three principles were: partiinost’ (loyalty to the party), ideinost’ (correct ideological stance and content), and narodnost’ (ready accessibility to the people). In 1936, Stalin publicly attacked Dmitry Shostakovich in Pravda for his atonal music. This marked the end of artistic experimentation and the beginning of the purges in the creative unions.



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