Artists Union of the USSR
Artists’ Union of the USSR
a voluntary organization of Soviet artists and art critics. Unions of Soviet artists were organized at various times in the Union and autonomous republics, in krais, in oblasts, and in cities on the basis of the resolution On the Restructuring of Literary and Artistic Organizations, which was issued by the Central Committee of the ACP(B) on Apr. 23, 1932. The Artists’ Union of the USSR was established in 1957. It held its first congress in its founding year, its second in 1963, its third in 1968, and its fourth in 1973. As of Jan. 1, 1976, the Artists’ Union of the USSR had 14,538 members. Artists’ unions of Union and autonomous republics, as well as local organizations of artists from a number of krais, oblasts, and cities, belong to the Artists’ Union of the USSR.
The purpose of the union is to assist artists in the execution of works of high artistic merit that educate the Soviet people in the spirit of communist ideas. It also strives to raise the artistic level and the political and ideological consciousness of its membership. It holds various meetings and conferences, arranges exhibitions to popularize the works of its members, and organizes and finances artistic projects. The Artists’ Union publishes the journals Iskusstvo (Art; together with the Ministry of Culture of the USSR and the Academy of the Arts of the USSR), Tvorchestvo (Creative Work), and Dekorativnoe iskusstvo SSSR (Decorative Art of the USSR).
The Artists’ Union administers the Board of Exhibitions, the Central Educational and Experimental Workshop, the Propaganda Poster Agency, the Art Fund of the USSR, and the Sovetskii Khudozhnik Publishing House. From 1939 to 1954, A. M. Gerasimov served as chairman of the organizing committee of the Union of Soviet Artists.
The leadership of the Artists’ Union has included K. F. Iuon (first secretary, 1957–58), S. V. Gerasimov (first secretary, 1958–64), B. V. Ioganson (first secretary, 1965–68), E. F. Bela-shova (chairman, 1968–71), and N. A. Ponomarev (first secretary, 1971–73; chairman, since 1973).
The Artists’ Union of the USSR was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1968.