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Maker(s):ASNOVA Brigade
Culture:Russian, Soviet (1923–1932)
Title:Palace of Arts. Design for a Cinema-Concert Hall
Date Made:1930/31
Materials:vintage gelatin silver print
Place Made:Europe; Soviet Union; Russia; Moscow
Measurements:Sheet/Image: 3 1/16 x 4 1/4 in; 7.8 x 10.8 cm
Narrative Inscription:  paper glued to the back of photograph removed: In pencil: "ASNOVA, brigade, palace of art, cinema, and concert hall; 4237/25-59; 13"
Accession Number:  AC 2021.89
Credit Line:Purchase with Amherst Whitney Collection of Russian Art Fund
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Label Text:
One of the many innovations of modern design and architecture was the concept of a multifunctional, transforming object. Early Soviet designers focused on creating transformable furniture, clothes, and even cookware. For example, in 1924, Aleksandr Rodchenko’s student Zakhar Bykov designed a saucepan that could also serve as a kettle, and its lid as a frying pan. The idea of transformable objects gained great popularity in Constructivist and Rationalist architecture as well. The celebrated Soviet theater director Vsevolod Meyerhold tried to transform the rigid architectural structure of the traditional theater hall into something flexible by eliminating the strict division between the stage and the audience hall and implementing retractable walls and ramps. Following the same trend, the ASNOVA Brigade conceived of the movie theater shown in this photograph as a space that could also function as a concert hall.

Maria Timina, 2023

photographs; architecture; models and modelmaking; theater; geometry; perspective

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