2011 | 21 | 4 | 347-366
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Art for the Soviet home

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As an intensive housing construction drive in the late 1950s began to provide separate apartments for millions of Soviet citizens, aesthetic experts envisioned the Soviet home as a potential site for the display of works of art and for amateur aesthetic production. In the context of de-Stalinization, reformist artists and aestheticians committed to the liberalization and modernization of Soviet artistic criteria, promoted the value of amateur art and even of home decorating in the formation of the new person who would live under communism. They also pressed for affordable art and craft to be made available to ordinary people for their new homes. Thereby they would dwell in their new apartments surrounded by beauty in their everyday lives, and would thus, the experts argued, be brought closer to communist consciousness. Moreover sales of art to individual citizens would provide an alternative income stream to fund artists’ production. The possibility of private art consumption would therefore free artists to some extent from their reliance on state commissions and from the strict stylistic and thematic norms and hierarchies of Socialist Realism as established under Stalin.
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