lntourist advertising posters became a calling card of our country as they were displayed in tourist offices and embassies all over the world. Bold, bright and highly artistic they were aimed at presenting to foreign tourists the joys of traveling in the USSR - first socialist country in the world. Since the creation of lntourist in 1929 prominent artists from Moscow and Leningrad such as M. Litvak, A. Frolov, V. Pudovkin and others were commissioned to design its advertising. ln 1931 lntourist initiated All-Union poster competitions featuring Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, other cities and areas of the USSR and the Trans-Siberian railway. These competitions attracted many new young artists including l. Fomin and V. Livanova. At the beginning of the 1930s all foreign trade advertisement was consolidated under the Bureau of Trade Advertisement of the All-Union Chamber of Commerce headed by the artist S. lgumnov. The bureau artists designed advertising for all Soviet foreign trade agencies, Torgsin and lntourist. Many designers such as N. Zhukov, S. Sakharov, B. Zelensky, M. Nesterova-Berzina, V. Klimashin, O. Eyges, A. Antonchenko and A. Zhitomirsky who joined the bureau in the 1930s contributed to the unique style of lntourist advertisements that are still admired today. The most prominent impact was due to N. Zhukov, who worked on lntourist posters and periodicals from 1934 until 1937. World War ll interrupted the development of foreign tourism and as a consequence, tourist advertising. After the war the volume of advertising was not very significant. A new era in lntourist advertising began in 1957, when young designers started working with new ideas and artistic methods.
A series of posters, commissioned in the 1930s by Intourist (the organisation responsible for foreign tourism in the Soviet Union), enticed the West with stunning visions of the country, advertising such pursuits as hunting and adventurous car journeys. See USSR brings some of them together for the first time after extensive research into the relatively short time-span of this particular approach to propaganda.