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Biography of a Radical Newspaper
Robert Poole

The newly digitised Manchester Observer (1818–22) was England’s leading radical newspaper at the time of the Peterloo meeting of August 1819, in which it played a central role. For a time it enjoyed the highest circulation of any provincial newspaper, holding a position comparable to that of the Chartist Northern Star twenty years later and pioneering dual publication in Manchester and London. Its columns provide insights into Manchester’s notoriously secretive local government and policing and into the labour and radical movements of its turbulent times. Rich materials in the Home Office papers in the National Archives reveal much about the relationship between radicals in London and in the provinces, and show how local magistrates conspired with government to hound the radical press in the north as prosecutions in London ran into trouble. This article also sheds new light on the founding of the Manchester Guardian, which endured as the Observer’s successor more by avoiding its disasters than by following its example. Despite the imprisonment of four of its main editors and proprietors the Manchester Observer battled on for five years before sinking in calmer water for lack of news.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Open Access (free)
Janet Wolff

Isle of Man. The ‘internment of aliens’ – a peculiar and rather hysterical measure taken by the British government after Dunkirk. He had only been married for four months. But I suspect he really enjoyed the ironic freedom of that year. This is my father as an alien. He is alien to Britain and to English culture. Surrounded by those who are not alien to him, he is captured in an alien environment. And this image of him as the central figure is one which is entirely alien to me. His existence on the edges of my childhood, his refusal to engage with me or to challenge

in Austerity baby
Yulia Karpova

and their everyday life. The promise of the Party and government to ‘fully satisfy the constantly growing material and cultural demands of the Soviet people’3 by increasing the quality and quantity of available consumer goods implied the high social and cultural potential of objects. Historians emphasise the government’s promise of the proliferation of goods and better homes as one of the key characteristics of the post-Stalin period.4 Denis Kozlov and Eleonory Gilburd argue that, in terms of the heightened attention to the living conditions of the now predominantly

in Comradely objects
Yulia Karpova

different, and we should not make them identical by means of art.’28 Terms such as ‘emotions’, ‘spirituality’, ‘depth’, ‘width’, ‘diversity’ and ‘complexity’ became more frequent in Dekorativnoe Iskusstvo SSSR editorials over time, and often appeared in such open questions to its readers. Moreover, many of the journal’s articles on domestic interiors allowed for the agency of consumers in making their own decisions in organising their homes. Chernyshova interprets this tendency as evidence of the government’s rejection of Khrushchev-era egalitarianism regarding taste and

in Comradely objects
Open Access (free)
Design and material culture in Soviet Russia, 1960s–80s
Author: Yulia Karpova

The major part of this book project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 700913.

This book is about two distinct but related professional cultures in late Soviet Russia that were concerned with material objects: industrial design and decorative art. The Russian avant-garde of the 1920s is broadly recognised to have been Russia’s first truly original contribution to world culture. In contrast, Soviet design of the post-war period is often dismissed as hackwork and plagiarism that resulted in a shabby world of commodities. This book identifies the second historical attempt at creating a powerful alternative to capitalist commodities in the Cold War era. It offers a new perspective on the history of Soviet material culture by focusing on the notion of the ‘comradely object’ as an agent of progressive social relations that state-sponsored Soviet design inherited from the avant-garde. It introduces a shared history of domestic objects, handmade as well as machine-made, mass-produced as well as unique, utilitarian as well as challenging the conventional notion of utility. Situated at the intersection of intellectual history, social history and material culture studies, this book elucidates the complexities and contradictions of Soviet design that echoed international tendencies of the late twentieth century. The book is addressed to design historians, art historians, scholars of material culture, historians of Russia and the USSR, as well as museum and gallery curators, artists and designers, and the broader public interested in modern aesthetics, art and design, and/or the legacy of socialist regimes.

Open Access (free)
Soviet things that talk
Yulia Karpova

city during wartime.50 KARPOVA 9781526139870 PRINT.indd 10 20/01/2020 11:10 Introduction 11 The next step in making design a profession in the USSR was the governmental resolution ‘On preparing cadres for art industry and art-­ decorative works’ in February 1945. This document sanctioned the development of LKhU into a larger institution, the Art and Industry School, named after Vera I. Mukhina (known as the Mukhina School for short), which together with the Moscow Art and Industry School (a revived pre-revolutionary Count Stroganov School of arts and crafts

in Comradely objects
Yulia Karpova

culture without damaging its artistic quality. The concerns of people such as Osmolovskii, Gerchuk and Kamenskii did not just stem from their stubborn vision of decorative art as ‘applied’ and ‘utilitarian’, but from the discrepancy between the Brezhnev government’s celebration of socialist consumption and the systemic failures of Soviet light industry to provide desired goods to everyone. Prime Minister Aleksei Kosygin’s reforms were intended to boost production by introducing some flexibility and incentives for the workers, but they proved untenable and were abandoned

in Comradely objects
Open Access (free)
Janet Wolff

March 1939, to stay with Leonie and her husband before emigration. This photograph was probably taken during those months. My grandparents are seated on the left; Sigmund standing on the left; Leonie seated furthest right. Also in the photo are the Kahns’ friends, Fanny and Jakob Maier. Of this group of six people, only my grandparents survived the Holocaust. My grandparents left for England in June 1939. (Once again, my father records his gratitude – to the British government for allowing entry to the refugees, and to the British Consul in Frankfurt, who ‘deserves to

in Austerity baby
Open Access (free)
Janet Wolff

gratitude to Britain: [6] It is too often forgotten, how much we owe the British Government of the day, who, with the help of Jewish and other British organisations, in which people like Eleanor Rathbone played a leading part, saved tens of thousands of Nazi victims, when all the other countries refused to do anything. I was glad, therefore, when a few years ago some of those who managed to start a new and successful life here launched a ‘ThankYou-Britain Fund’, which soon raised about fifty thousand pounds for a scholarship now administered by the British Academy. Its

in Austerity baby
Open Access (free)
Janet Wolff

circumstances in the heart of Germany ... are such, that one feels compelled to cover one’s head in shame ... Does the Schiller Institute wish to celebrate things such as the expulsion of Danish milk-maids or the sudden removal of three reliable and highly-respected Jewish lady teachers from their posts in Berlin which they had held for years and where they had worked hard and honourably, or is it the now highly favoured and numerous governmental careerist and informer excesses which have led to the countless defamation trials and which recently culminated in the sentencing

in Austerity baby