Soviet Union - a legendary and mysterious country, which changed the entire course of the world's history. This is the country which launched world's first satellite, sent the first man to space, first touched the Moon, Mars and Venus. It is the country which liberated the world from fascism and gave the world a multitude of great singers, musicians, dancers, actors, writers, artists, athletes and scientists. It's a country where people of over hundred nations, dreaming of peace, happiness, universal equality and justice, selflessly worked to make it a reality for all on our planet. Yet, and not without a reason, it is still widely known as a totalitarian state of terror and repression.

So what was life in the USSR really like? How the Soviet Union became so powerful and why it finally fell apart? Was collapse of the USSR a great victory or a great tragedy of humanity? Disputes about this do not cease to this day, and, though Soviet Union collapsed already over a quarter of a century ago, it's unique mass culture is still virtually unknown to the rest of the world.

The series of the following twenty exhibitions will gradually lift the "Iron Curtain" and will share with you many things that are usually not spoken about and not written in books.

  1. Made in USSR.
  2. USSR. 100 Wonders of Soviet household.
  3. USSR. The establishment of Soviet power.
  4. USSR. Building an utopian state.
  5. USSR. The socialist competition.
  6. USSR. The Great Patriotic war.
  7. USSR. Cold war and struggle for peace.
  8. USSR. From fairy tale to reality.
  9. USSR. The “horrors” of Soviet childhood.
  10. USSR. Young builders of communism.
  1. USSR. Life after work.
  2. USSR. Along life with a song.
  3. USSR. Faster, higher, stronger.
  4. USSR. Shopping in the socialist state.
  5. USSR. Life in the Soviet kitchen.
  6. USSR. The country of victorious socialism.
  7. USSR. Holidays and traditions.
  8. USSR. Architecture of bright present.
  9. USSR. World’s largest country.
  10. USSR. The cult of Lenin.

Made in USSR.

This exhibition will take you to the past century and will give an opportunity to look at the world through eyes of a Soviet citizen. Hundreds of household items and elements of interior, painfully familiar to every citizen of the USSR, as well as some rare and scarce goods will cause you a feeling of nostalgia, a smile, and at times a bewilderment. Many old photographs depicting typical everyday life of the Soviets, the sounds of the once popular songs of great, but unfortunately already forgotten artists, will allow you to submerge into the legendary era of the Soviet Union.

USSR. 100 Wonders of Soviet household.

The basis of this exhibition is over a hundred of Soviet household items, which are now completely disappeared from use. Some of these things might be well familiar to older generation, but many will still require to rack one's brains over their purpose. Using all these curious things and ingenious devices as examples, the exhibition demonstrates how Soviet people lived under conditions of widespread shortages and austerity, how they worked and entertained themselves without the benefits of modern technologies. Original old posters and rare photographs will also remind about some interesting episodes of Soviet reality, which can now be remembered only with a bitter smile.

USSR. The establishment of Soviet power.

The exhibition tells about the October revolution – an unique socialist experiment, which transformed many millions of human lives and predetermined the development of the world for a century to come. You will also learn about the following civil war, about red propaganda and terror, about the establishment of the USSR and the first years of Soviet power. Authentic artifacts of the period and numerous memorabilia will help you take a fresh look at this complex and paradoxical time - the time of devastation, hunger and privation, but full of hopes and faith in a bright future.

USSR. Building an utopian state.

The exhibition tells about how the new socialist state was built and reveals the essence of the Soviet ideology. Old photographs, magazines, documents and many other various artifacts acquaint with collectivization and five-year plans, show how a predominantly agrarian country was transformed into a mighty industrial power. Many colorful campaign posters and bright pennants will introduce you to the basic principles of communist morality, the rules of pioneers, workers and farmers. You will see how these new ideals and standards of conduct were implemented in everyday life, that ultimately created a completely new, unprecedented Soviet culture. And though the creation of the new society has failed, there still were numerous achievements made on the way to it, and many valuable lessons should be learned from the Soviet experience.

USSR. The socialist competition.

The exhibition tells about the socialist competition - a unique phenomenon that emerged in the USSR as an alternative to capitalist competition. An abundance of various artifacts of the Soviet era will share an intriguing story of how the socialist competition embraced all branches of the national economy and the entire population of the USSR. You’ll become acquainted with the front and back side of the social competition, with its results and problems, will learn about the heroes of work and many curious facts. Unique posters, flags, documents, awards and other interesting items will help to understand what inspired Soviet people to volunteer to work overtime, sometimes without rest and sleep, what forced them to put state interests above their own, and what they received in return for their hard work. Тhe exhibition will be quite interesting to visitors of all ages and will leave vivid memories for a long time.

USSR. The Great Patriotic war.

World War II swept as a devastating hurricane across countries of Europe and the USSR, leaving scars in the lives of every family. It became not only significant part of history, but also reflected in the lives of many future generations. Exhibited relics of war, photos, documents and posters of the time will remind of ordeals endured by the Soviet people, lots of memorabilia will tell about their heroic exploits. A large collection of toy soldiers, military machines and other toys, that used to be possessed by practically every Soviet boy, will be especially interesting to today's children and their parents alike.

USSR. Cold war and struggle for peace.

The exhibition tells the story of the confrontation between the two superpowers - USSR and USA, about the arms race, civil defense and the struggle for peace. Lots of artifacts of the Cold War and the campaign posters will remind you of the fragility of our planet and will advise how it can be saved. You will learn about the peace movement in the USSR and will also "visit" the World Festival of Youth of 1957, which had a huge importance in uniting the peoples of more than 130 countries, and which became an explosive event in the Soviet mass culture.

USSR. From fairy tale to reality.

The exhibition presents an overview of the country's life in the first post-war decades and the subsequent period of stagnation, which, despite its negative name, was the most stable and happy period in the USSR. It was a time of great progress in all branches of the national economy, the time of tremendous achievements in astronautics, grandiose all-Union construction projects and a massive rise of enthusiasm among the youth. It was during the peaceful years of stagnation that the well-being of Soviet people greatly improved, which is reminded by many exhibited artifacts - documentary evidence of the era. The exhibition also tells about the shadow side of this prosperity and acquaints with some little-known facts.

USSR. The “horrors” of Soviet childhood.

This exhibition will break all stereotypes by letting you peek into the long gone childhood and school years of soviet kids, and will reveal why those, who were born in the USSR, have mostly bright and nostalgic memories of that time. A variety of curious and ingenious toys will demonstrate how kids entertained themselves without technologically advanced games of today. Richly illustrated books, bedside tapestries and other decorative items will introduce you to Russian favorite fairy tales and cartoons. You will also see how the historical events, achievements and ambitions of the USSR were reflected in the toys, books and magazines of the era, cultivating in kids pride for their Motherland.

USSR. Young builders of communism.

This exhibition is dedicated to Soviet youth - members of communist youth organizations: it is a detailed and fascinating story about the activities of these organizations, their invaluable role in the the country's history. For some people born in the USSR, only red tie, solemn constructions and endless lectures on communist morality have been left in memory, but some lovingly recall pioneer interest clubs, games, summer camps, and are still proud of participating in the affairs of the country. Lots of presented artifacts will tell you about all these and various other episodes of Soviet childhood and youth: uniforms, insignia and awards, flags, rare pennants and posters, unique old photographs and а variety of other things. The exhibition also makes us think about the upbringing of today's new generation, about our present and future.

USSR. Life after work.

Paradoxical as it may seem, but in spite of a lot of time spent in daily queues, for mandatory social activities and domestic chores, which previously were incomparably greater, citizens of the USSR also found time for rest, as the exhibition convincingly attests. A gallery of photos and old postcards will allow you to take a walk through the most famous Soviet resorts. A variety of exhibits will tell you about the most popular hobbies in the Soviet Union and about the massive craze for tourism, which became an outlet of the Soviet intelligentsia. You will also get acquainted with typical collectibles, see some things made at leisure by the hands of Soviet housewives, as well as samples of crafts made by prisoners.

USSR. Along life with a song.

The exhibition tells a brief history of the new Soviet music, about widespread amateur performance, highly encouraged by the state, and about a strict, sometimes bordering with madness Soviet censorship. Audio and video materials will acquaint you with the most notable popular Soviet artists - great singers and world-class musicians, however virtually unknown outside the Soviet Union due to the ideological conflict and the "Iron curtain". You will also learn about the difficult fates of some of these artists, who became victims of the regime. Among the exhibits there are rare kinds of radios, the first tape recorders and concert posters. A special note should be given to an extensive collection of Soviet made gramophones and rare unusual records.

USSR. Faster, higher, stronger.

Making its citizens both physically healthy and spiritually strong was a task of primary importance to the new Soviet state, for building the country and defending it. The exhibition showcases lots of vintage items of personal hygiene and medical accessories that were used in every Soviet family. There are many sport related souvenirs, awards, and even authentic artifacts from the famous Moscow Olympics. A great number of posters and other memorabilia demonstrates how powerful was the propaganda of healthy life style and sports in the USSR, which enabled to produce lots of world-class athletes, who won many gold and silver medals in international competitions.

USSR. Shopping in the socialist state.

This exhibition tells about the service sector in the Soviet country - about stores, postal and telephone communications of the past century and other services, many of which are forever a thing of the past. Advertisement posters and illustrations will tell about the goods produced in the USSR, while old photographs, along with all sorts of information plaques from post offices, banks and shops will mentally take you to the long lines for scarce commodities. Much attention is given to the money, tokens and coupons from tsarist times to Perestroika.

USSR. Life in the Soviet kitchen.

For many people in the Soviet Union kitchen was not just a place where food was cooked, but was also a kind of center of socializing. Somehow it was usually the kitchen where the news were discussed, important family matters resolved and friend gatherings held. From the kitchen spontaneous artistic salons and private concerts of bards often began. The exhibition features kitchenware, typical of the Soviet period, different types of stoves and samovars, tea sets, an extensive collection of propaganda glass holders and cutlery. You will also find some typical product packages and hundreds of labels from the Soviet drinks, well familiar to older generation.

USSR. The country of victorious socialism.

The exhibition features all kinds of household and interior objects, decorated with symbols of the USSR, and elements of propaganda, as well as posters, souvenirs and commemorative medals, issued to different anniversaries. Abundance of these propaganda things was meant to constantly remind Soviet citizens about how happily they live in “the best country of the world”, to cultivate in them a sense of civic duty and pride for the Motherland. Today all these things can serve as excellent illustrations of the history of the USSR, tell about the achievements and aspirations of the Soviet people.

USSR. Holidays and traditions.

In the Soviet Union there were more than 50 official holidays (excluding traditional and religious), that still holds a world's record today. The exhibition tells about their history, significance, as well as the new Soviet traditions and ceremonies. You will see many items dedicated to these holidays: hundreds of lapel pins and matchbox labels, stamps, postcards, anniversary gifts, banners and flags, once waving over the columns of demonstrators, festive posters and pennants that used to adorn interiors. Also presented is a huge collection of labels from Soviet alcoholic beverages, without which no event could be celebreated, as well as an accompanying collection of anti-alcohol posters.

USSR. Architecture of bright present.

Since 1930s, new schools, culture centers, pioneer palaces and stadiums were built across the Soviet country, numerous sculptures and monuments were installed, the facades and interiors of buildings were decorated with Soviet symbols, slogans and mosaics in the style of socialist realism. Hundreds of photographs and postcards at this exhibition will show how the buildings and streets looked like in the Soviet Union and will acquaint you with the Stalinist Empire style - a new architectural style born in the USSR. A large collection of plaques with typical names of Soviet streets and some other objects will enable you to more deeply feel the monumental optimism of the Soviet era. You will also learn about some unrealized projects, which still amaze by their fantasticality.

USSR. World’s largest country.

The exhibition presents a general overview of the geography and population of the Soviet Union, the biggest and the most multinational country in the world. You will see an unique collection of more than 17,000 of arms of cities and regions of the former Soviet republics. A gallery of photos will familiarize you with a huge variety of landscapes and climatic zones of the USSR. Another part of the exhibition showcases photos, postcards, stamps, matchbox labels and posters dedicated to the peoples of the Soviet republics, commemorative souvenirs in honor of the anniversary of the USSR, as well as some examples of folk art.

USSR. The cult of Lenin.

There can be different attitudes to the personality of V.I. Lenin and his role in history, but one thing is undoubtable - his name was a symbol of the country throughout its 70-year history, a symbol of the bright future, for which millions of Soviet citizens gave their strengths and lives. The cult of Lenin has generated unimaginable number of objects with an image of the leader or a mention of him. After the collapse of the USSR, many were quick to get rid of this heritage, but today, after more than a quarter of a century, these things became historical relics and are now valuable collectibles. At the exhibition you can see many of such things: rare wall rugs and flags with portraits of Lenin, posters, statues, hundreds of lapel pins, stamps and postcards, medals, souvenirs for the 100th anniversary of the leader, records with his voice, and lots more.