May 31, 2005

Soviet Postcards 1979

I found this set of Soviet era postcards in the Triangle Resale Shop in Bellaire, Texas. I am a collector of postcards (among other things), and they just struck me as being so cool and so sad at the same time. They're cool in the sense of being from the bygone Cold War, hammer and sickle era, but that makes them sad, too.

I don't read/speak Russian and my geographic knowledge (like that of most Americans') is impoverished, so I don't know what city the post cards commemorate. In one shot, you can see that the whole city is encircled by a brick fence. The architecture is crisp and clean, but the buildings are so functional, they lack aesthetic appeal.

Even the most ornate building in this city is whitewashed, which seems to cancel out opulence offered by the gilded gold and silver onion topped spires.

They're cool because they are presumably showing off the city at its best, but the subject matter is presented without artistic flare. An industrial landscape by American or European standards, there is nothing posh about the buildings or the scenery.

The statuary is a classically Soviet homage to communism and war. I ended up paying the bargain price of 50 cents for this odd little time warped package of postcards. One man's trash ...

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