The Revolution was the victory of the workers and peasants over the bourgeoisie and nobility. Whether physical or intellectual, agricultural or industrial, hard work was the backbone of the Soviet Union and a feature of its life to be celebrated and promoted. A great deal of what we would consider to be typical Soviet design was applied to the notion of work.

The first great Soviet architectural competition was for the Palace of Labour in Moscow. The winning design came from the architect Noi Trotskii - an internal view is shown on the panel. While Palaces of Labour appeared elsewhere in the country, however, the Moscow one was never built, its plot used instead for the Moskva hotel.

Work was a significant inspiration for Socialist Realist artists and writers. Socialist Realism was unique in its relationship with the state. It was formally approved by the authorities in 1932, becoming, essentially, the official artistic and literary style of the Soviet Union.


Plan for the unbuilt Moscow Palace of Labour by N. A. Trotskii, in Ezhegodnik Obshchestva arkhitektorov khudozhnikov (Annual of the Society of Architects/Artists), no. 12 (1927). CCA.54.1015(12a)

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