aleksandr_froloff_see_ussr_c1930a

Soviet travel brochures from the 1930s

In 1928, Stalin established a government-run foreign travel agency under the name Intourist (a contracted portmanteau of Иностранный [foreign] турист [tourist]). Though it had by that point already evacuated its international obligation to foment world revolution, Stalin’s regime was still looking to raise interest in the fledgling socialist state. All of the following brochures targeted potential tourists from the most advanced capitalist nations in the West — Germany, England, France, the US.

Stylistically, these pieces vary. Many are rather naïve, pastoral, even vaguely Orientalist, especially with respect to the more “exotic” Soviet Republics. Others are more avant-garde in appearance, with constructivist boldness and abstraction. Finally, a few of them roughly approach the new official style of Socialist Realism. Virtually all of them are optimistic, if not austere, however.

Intourist survived the USSR’s collapse in 1991, and continues to be one of Russia’s larger tourism companies. Below are some examples of their early advertising, which you can click to enlarge and browse through.

8 thoughts on “Soviet travel brochures from the 1930s

  1. Pingback: Russische Tourismus-Plakate aus den 30er Jahren | RANDPOP

  2. Pingback: Sochi and the Soviet Constructivism | Homo Ludditus

  3. Hello, I have an original 1930’s INTOURIST large Volga poster that you do not seem to have. Measures roughly 28 1/2″ X 41 1/4″. It is Art Deco with three produce-men with a loaded melon row boat on the Volga with other ships on the river.

    I am not sure if you can recieve a photograph attachment, or can guide me to a place in order to establish a replacement value or what market venue would be best to find out it’s worth.

    I very much appreciate your time and look forward to your reply.

    Respectfully,

    Gary Romele

  4. Pingback: Margaret Bourke-White in the USSR, 1931 | The Charnel-House

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