Friday, May 31, 2013

The Mid-Century Russian Book

Books in Russia were typeset and printed much the way many books were made elsewhere in the mid-century. Kak Pechatali Vashu Knigu (translated: How Your Book Was Printed) is a 1951 children's book, by Samuil Marshak (1887 - 1964) who was a writer, translator, satirist and children's poet. This lovely book about the printing trade is remarkable for many reasons, and makes me wish to see more. I am fortunate as it is just down the street from me. It is from the University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections Division in the Children's Historical Literature Collection. The illustrator is listed as A. Ermolaev, but I could find little record of this artist other than a Nikolai Andrianovich Ermolaev who did this work
     The pressmen and women are all wearing hats as they examine the latest sheets off the mighty large press, and the light-filled pressroom with the shiny shiny floor makes for a wonderful workplace in the big city. What child wouldn't want to take up this trade? It took many skilled working hands to make books of this kind in the 1950s, and they will continue to impress and inspire many of us for generations because of the libraries who share them. This makes me very happy.  


  1. Thank you so much for this post!
    Btw these illustrations are made by Yermolaev Adrian Michailovich/ Ермолаев Андриан Михайлович (1900 - 1977). He graduated in 1926 from VHUTEMAS/ ВХУТЕМАС. He became known for his illustrated for the books by Gaidar. A.P. (А.П.Гайдар) such as "Chuk and Gek" (Чук и Гек), "Timur and his team" (Тимур и его команда), Murzilka magazine (Мурзилка) etc. You can find more examples of his work here: and here


    1. And thank YOU Armina for providing the illustrator's correct name and sharing the links. Lots of great material to explore here ; )

      All the best,

    2. Perhaps useful for future searches: this LiveJournal blog is a 'museum of drawing' which contains a lot of work by Russian illustrators and artists.

  2. You are welcome:) I absolutely love your blog!


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