With Heartfield's Iconic Poster Design

Otkrytye pis'ma: seriia: Plakaty Kompartii Germanii. Plakate der K.P.D. [Postcards: Poster art of the German Communist Party. Posters of the KPD]. Seriia: “Plakat Germanskoi Kompartii” (23 siuzheta). Nagliadnoe posobie po izucheniiu zapadnogo revoliutsionnogo dvizheniia i zapadnogo revoliutsionnogo iskusstva plakatnoi zhivopisi [“Poster Art of the German Communist Party” series, (23 visuals). A visual aid for the study of the western revolutionary movement and western revolutionary poster art].

Moscow, [1933]. Oblong octavo (11 × 14 cm). Original pictorial card wrappers with four flaps; twenty-three pictorial postcards loosely inserted, as issued. Very good or better.

Rare complete set of Soviet postcards reproducing German Communist Party (K.P.D.) posters spanning the years 1919–1932, published by the Soviet Museum of the Revolution, in the original ephemeral constructivist-inspired card wrapper. The cards are numbered 1–24, but no. 19 was evidently never published, as it is known to be missing from all extant sets and the label to the rear of the wrapper indicates that it contains 23 items. It is also conceivable that no. 19 contained a poster advertising the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, the short-lived German Workers’ Party (1919–1920) which was in fact the precursor to the Nazi Party. Realizing the error, the printer may have removed the card from the set prior to release. The introduction printed on the case announces the pedagogical mission of the set, both as a visual history of the K.P.D. up to its forced retreat underground in 1933 and as a guide to the visual strategies used by the Party to communicate its messages.

Of special note are cards with posters of avant-garde photomontages by John Heartfield (nos. 11, 13, 16), including Heartfield’s iconic call to vote for the K.P.D. in the 1928 Reichstag elections, “The hand has five fingers” (5 Finger hat die Hand), which still stands as one of the most powerful pieces of anti-fascist agitation. The set also reproduces posters by the journalist and graphic artist Max Keilson (no. 12), best known as the designer of the Antifa symbol, and a March 8th poster by Käthe Kollwitz (no. 24).

As of December 2020, we cannot trace any holdings via KVK, OCLC.

Book ID: 51036