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Public Gardening as Propaganda

Al’bom parternoi zeleni: tsvetochno-dekorativnye kompozitsii i ikh elementy [An album of ground greenery: decorative floral compositions and their elements].

Kiev: Izdatel’stvo Akademii Arkhitektury Ukrains’koi SSR, 1952. Oblong quarto (23 × 30 cm). Original green card boards, embossed title to front board; 108 pp. and [10] leaves of plates, as well as numerous illustrations from photographs and drawings in the text, some in color. Boards lightly discolored and scuffed to corners; else about very good.

First edition, published by the Institute of Urban Planning of the Ukrainian Academy of Architecture, of this work on decorative gardening. The book is divided into chapters on the various classifications of greenery used in large-scale outdoors decorative floral arrangements; the basic principles of such arrangements; building and tending to flower gardens; the care of lawn sites; and an introductions to the various types of flowers used for these purposes. While also intended for smaller towns and collective farming communities, such designs were primarily used to decorate and “make green” the vast boulevards, settlements, and mass housing complexes springing up around Soviet cities after World War II. Perhaps most interestingly is the overt integration of decorative gardening into the late Stalinist totalitarian propaganda state. As the preface states, “Aptly chosen combinations of floriculture crops develop the people’s artistic taste, and the use of flowers to compose portraits, slogans, and emblems serve as another means of monumental propaganda” (p. 3). The album presents photographs and drawings of floral designs in Kiev and other towns in Soviet Ukraine, as well as designs recommended by members of the Academy of Architecture. As of April 2020, KVK and OCLC show a single copy worldwide.

Book ID: 50736

Price: $950.00