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Silkin, Boris Vasil’evich

Силкин, Борис Васильевич

Limited biographical information is available on Boris Vasil’evich Silkin. Most likely, he designed propaganda posters for the Bolsheviks for a limited period from 1919 to 1920. During that period, he joined the Kiev-based trade union Tvorchestvo (in existence in 1918), and into the 1920s Silkin exhibited his work in Kiev. The 1983 edition of Sovetskaia grafika indicates that Silkin was a founding member of the Society of Artists in Kiev (1918), and in 1920, he was listed as an artist with the propaganda section of the Political Directorate of the Kiev Military District. Per an unnamed Ukrainian magazine article, Silkin was “a very popular Kiev artist through [the] 1920s-1930s, who was active in the fields of poster designs and boo[k] illustration.”

The lack of biographical data on Silkin led one of the premier Ukrainian Soviet-era art books, the 1917-1987 Mistetstvo narodzhene zhovtnem, to incorrectly label his posters (Join the Red Cavalry and To the Ranks of the Red Army) as works designed by an "unknown artist". According to researchers at Mercer and Middlesex Auctions in New Jersey, after the Russian Civil War, Boris Silkin worked primarily as a book illustrator.


Russian Posters. (2014). Auction catalogue of Mercer and Middlesex, LLC. New Jersey: Mercer and Middlesex, LLC.
Belichko, U.V., & Kilesso, S. K. (1987). Mistetstvo narodzhene zhovtnem: Ukrainsʹke radiansʹke obrazotvorche mystetstvo ta arkhitektura 1917-1987. Kyïv: Mystetstvo.