Detail from Kornei Chukovsky’s The Stolen Sun, illustrated by Yuri Vasnetsov, 1935
Always a visual treat, the Redstone diary for 2010 contains over 50 images taken from Russian children’s books from the 1920s and 30s…
Julian Rothenstein has designed and edited this year’s collection, which rather fittingly also includes a folk tale, Wool Over the Eyes, by the Russian writer Andrey Platonov (1899-1951).
Of the artworks created for children’s books featured in the diary, critic Mel Gooding writes in her introduction:
“Unencumbered by the old theologies, these artists – among the greatest in the century – were free to see that the child was not merely an empty vessel to be filled with ‘nothing but the facts’, nor an innocent fallen from grace, but, rather, a dynamic organism, energetically predisposed to ask those questions, to learn and prosper.”
The early years of the Soviet Union was apparently a golden age of children’s books; where artists and writers worked together to promote learning and the creation of magical illustrated worlds.
From I. Irak’s Gymnastics to Amuse, illustrated by Boris Kronberg, 1930
From A. Olsufieva’s Toys, illustrated by Lidia Popova, 1928
From Vladimir Mayakovsky’s The Fire Horse, illustrated by Lidia Popova, 1928
From Samuil Marshak’s Luggage, illustrated by Vladimir Lebedev, 1929