History Archive: Soviet Union: Art: Photography

The Soviet Art of Photography


Georgia, Tbilisi

Collective farmers sell grapes; world-renown for making great wine and a tasty snak.
(circa 1950s)

Russia, Moscow

A women buys a head of cabbage at the local market, where farmers sell their surplus.
(circa 1950s)
A soviet bureacrat buys food at the closed-to-public Beriozka Gastronom. While in the West, luxurious food is prohibitive to most because of its price, in the Soviet Union luxurious food was prohibitive based on one's connections.
(circa 1980s)
Crates of oranges are on sale, while abacuses are used to keep track of the price. A women purchases meat on her lunch break. The government encouraged shops to set up these little stalls near office places so workers could more conviently buy groceries.
A young couple browse the tea section. This grocery store is right outside the gate of several factories, making it convient for the workers to get their food after work. Moscow workers line up outside a store to buy high quality shoes.
Former owners put their cars on sale. At a kind of weekend market, people who were looking to sell their cars would go to this parking lot in Moscow for others to come inspect and try.

Russia, Siberia

Got Milk? If you'd like some, these workers sell it — per frozen block — complete with a wooden handle for easy carrying.
A Tashkent street vendor sells pomegranates.


Transcription/Markup: Brian Baggins
Online Version: Soviet History Archive (marxists.org) 2001