Jill Bugajski joined the TASS poster project in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2008, since which she has played a critical role in the research and curatorial organization of the exhibition and publication Windows on the War: Soviet TASS Posters at Home and Abroad 1941-45. She is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Art History at Northwestern University, and devotes most of her time to studying political print culture and its international circulation. [November 2011]

Artful Coercion: The Aesthetic Extremes of Stencil in Wartime

Fig. 1. Vladimir Lebedev, detail of A Belorussian Landscape (TASS 1017) (July 31, 1944), stencil. The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of the USSR Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, 2010.122.

In the late 1990s, when the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago was packing up to prepare for renovations, a batch of brown-paper wrapped parcels was discovered tucked into a small, hidden space above the regular storage bins. They contained posters, most of them never accessioned by the museum, presumably because at the time they were received they didn’t quite seem to be proper “prints.” …Read More