Literacy and Knowledge, Not Prayers, Can Prevent The Crop Failures

Poster Number: PP 847
Poster Notes: Poster is in Ukrainian language. The poster’s theme was one used throughout the initial period of collectivization when peasants were encouraged to voluntarily create farm collectives and benefit from scientific methods applied to collective farming. By the early 1930s, government-led collectivization squads became commonplace as peasants resisted collectivization efforts.
Media Size: Please inquire
Poster Type: Lithograph
Publishing Date: c. 1929
Technical Information on Poster: DUD (State Administration) 3A. Print Order No. 1308.
Sources & Citation: Mercer and Middlesex Auctions, LLC. February 2012.
Catalog Notes: PP 847 Education & Literacy
Artist: Ke-Sha — Ке-Ша
Publisher: Narkompros (People’s Commissariat for Education) — Наркомпрос

The People's Commissariat for Education (Narkompros) was formed in 1918. Education in the USSR remained under the Commissariat until 1946 when it was re-positioned as the Ministry of Education. Narkompros encompassed the former Imperial Ministry of Public Education, the State Education Committee, and the former Palace Ministry, an entity that managed theaters and the Academy of Arts and the royal palaces. Narkompros was first headed by Anatoli Lunacharskii, an art critic, author and a journalist. He supplanted Sergei Oldenburg, a noted “orientalist” and Tsarist Minister of Education. Overseeing Narkompros was the All-Russian Central Executive Committee (VTsIK) and Lunacharskii happened to be one of its elected members. Narkompros was divided into sections dedicated to: eradication of illiteracy, professional education, adult education, theatrical studies, among other divisions. There were also censorship offices (referred to as "control") to scrutinize publishing, live performances and public speeches in order to protect the government and the masses. While Narkompros was concerned with education, Proletkult (proletarskaya kultura) was supposed to be the creative overseer of the “proletarian” society. Accomplishing little more than disorganization and infighting, the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party brought Proletkult to heel by assigning its duties to Narkompros in 1920 thus strengthening the Commissariat's sphere of influence.