Photographic encyclopedia of Soviet life: pioneers, constructions, collective farms

Uzbek decade, scene from the play "Hurjat" staged by the Hamza State Academic Drama Theater

Uzbek decade, scene from the play "Hurjat" staged by the Hamza State Academic Drama Theater

Courtesy of the Dalbey Photographic Collection at the University of Denver
The fantastic collection of color photographs of the Soviet Union from between 1950 and 1958 by Semyon Fridlyand, a Soviet photographer and master of color photography, have appeared in an archive at the University of Denver

20 thousand photographs by Semyon Fridlyand, a Soviet photographer and master of color photography, have appeared in an archive at the University of Denver.
The fantastic collection of color photographs of the Soviet Union from between 1950 and 1958 are comparable in quality to modern digital photographs.
Semyon Fridlyand was born in the family of a cobbler in Kiev in 1905. He only completed 7 grades at school before joining the photography desk of Ogonyok magazine, one of the Soviet Union's oldest magazines.
Over the magazine's nearly century-long history (it has been published in Moscow since 1924 and was founded in Saint Petersburg in 1899), it was known for its quality photo reports and bright cover photos.
The magazine glorified Soviet life. It recounted the stories of Soviet workers, the lives of collective farmers, record harvests, youth Pioneers, and Soviet art.
Semyon Fridlyand quickly learned his way around photographical equipment and, starting in 1926, began printing his own photographs on the pages of Ogonyok. Afterwards, he worked as a photo editor at the Union agency
In 1931, he headed the Russian Association of Proletarian Photographers, which affirmed the importance of displaying reality in photographs.
Semyon Fridlyand worked for many Soviet publications, including SSSR na stroike (USSR Under Construction) magazine and the newspaper, Pravda. At the end of the 1930s, he led the Association of Moscow Photo Journalists.
Semyon Fridlyand's art organically combines elements of classical photography with adjusted composition.
This kind of realistic style only began to be introduced starting in the mid-1950s, although it could be found in Fridlyand's work much earlier.
This collection forms a genuine photographic encyclopedia of Soviet life
As the head of Ogonyok's photo department, Fridlyand had the right to shoot in places where other photographers were forbidden to do so.
Fridlyand's collection includes both official pictures documenting occasions and events, as well as highly artistic works, true works of art by this talented master behind the lens.
Saratov (central Russia). Day nursery for children of Saratov railway workers
On the boulevard a city newly-constructed in the empty steppe for the purposes of servicing the Volga-Don Canal, 1952
First Captain Baryshev
A school for naturalists in the village of Ogurtsovo, Novosibirsk region
Reading Hall in the Palace of Culture
An excursion on a waterfall in the Norh Caucasus
Uzbek decade, scene from the play "Hurjat" staged by the Hamza State Academic Drama Theater

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