Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nikolay Pavlovich Akimov Theatre Posters

I came across a worn Russian book of Nikolay Pavlovich Akimov’s theatre posters, called Teatralʹnyĭ plakat N. Akimova. The book was published in Moscow in 1963 and is now out-of-print, but can be found at a few libraries in the US, UK, and Japan. Below are some of my favorites. EDIT - Huge thanks to Ingvar for providing the below translations.

Nikolay Pavlovich Akimov 6
The Labyrinth

Nikolay Pavlovich Akimov (1901 – 1968) was a "Russian stage designer, director, painter and graphic artist of Ukranian birth. He studied in Petrograd (now St Petersburg) from 1915 to 1919 in an artists' workshop under Mstislav Dobuzhinsky, Aleksandr Yakovlev and Vasily Shukhayev. From 1920 to 1922 he worked as a stage designer in Khar'kov (now Kharkiv). In 1923 he returned to Petrograd, where he worked as a book illustrator and stage designer at the Theatre of Musical Comedy, the Theatre of Drama and the Gor'ky Bol'shoy Theatre of Drama; he also worked in Moscow, at the Theatre of the Revolution, the Vakhtangov Theatre and the Moscow Art Theatre (MKhAT). From 1929 he worked as a director, designing his own productions. He was the Art Director of the Leningrad Theatre of Comedy (1935-49), where the most notable productions he directed and designed were Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (1938), Lope de Vega's Dog in the Manger and Widow of Valencia (1939) and Yevgeny Shvarts's The Shadow (1946), among others. From 1951 to 1955 Akimov was the artistic director of the Leningrad Soviet Theatre; Shadows (by Saltykov-Shchedrin) and The Case (by Sukhovo-Kobylin) stand out among the productions he directed and designed there. From 1955 to the end of his life he was at the Leningrad Theatre of Comedy as Artistic Director; among his best productions there were Shvarts's An Ordinary Miracle (1956) and The Dragon (1962), and Motley Stories (1960) after Chekhov."

Nikolay Pavlovich Akimov 11
The Hunter, 1956

Nikolay Pavlovich Akimov 7

Nikolay Pavlovich Akimov 1

Nikolay Pavlovich Akimov 19
3 Minute Talk

Nikolay Pavlovich Akimov 3
The Profiteer

Nikolay Pavlovich Akimov 10
Night Shindy

Nikolay Pavlovich Akimov 9
Trees Die Upright

Nikolay Pavlovich Akimov 17
The Suitcase

Nikolay Pavlovich Akimov 15
Seat Nr. 16

Nikolay Pavlovich Akimov 27
The Salesmen of Glory

Nikolay Pavlovich Akimov 28
The Tragic Story of Hamlet the Danish Prince

Nikolay Pavlovich Akimov 29

Nikolay Pavlovich Akimov 30

Nikolay Pavlovich Akimov
brief biography at [link]
@ worldcat [link]
more posters at Museum of Russian Poster [link]
more of his work at Russian Art & Books [link]
see more from the book at my flickr page [link]


S.Lemon said...

Thanks so much for sharing this, Joel.

Alka said...

Thats great. Nice designs. Excellent Posters.

Ingvar said...

Not familiar with any of the plays, just a rough translation of the titles:

The Labyrinth
The Hunter
3 Minute Talk
The Profiteer
Night Shindy
Trees Die Upright
The Suitcase
Seat Nr. 16
The Salesmen of Glory
The Tragic Story of Hamlet the Dutch Prince

Ingvar said...

Ops, The Tragic Story of Hamlet the Danish Prince

declassé said...

when my head is done exploding, this is now officially the coolest blog ever.

paul baines said...

Great selection of Nikolay Pavlovich Akimov posters! I've featured a few of them at ;)

Edward said...

Though I do pretty much love all your posts, this is one of my favourites in a while.


Dr. Monkey said...

I found you through Boing Boing today. Love your blog. I'm fan of constructivist art and design in general so you have provided me with a feat of material to look at. Thanks.

Daniel Downey said...

Stumbled across this blog the other day.. can't stop looking at all these gorgeous finds. Thanks for sharing!!

Quran said...

Love your blog. I'm fan of constructivist art and design in general so you have provided me with a feat of material to look at. Thanks.

Michelle Assay said...

Thank you for sharing these pictures. I know that the British Library holds the book you mention. I am working on Akimov's Hamlet production of 1932 with Shostakovich's amazing music. I shall try to post some of my findings on a seperate blog...Akimov was a very fascinating person, some of his sketches are published on Russian sites.

*please cite or link when reposting*