Travel poster of 1930s.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 it became very trendy to blame it for all the hardships, problems and grief that Soviet people have experienced. Countless publications were written, revealing the crimes of the Soviet leaders and flaws of the socialist system as a whole. Since then, over the last two decades, life in Russia and other former Soviet republics has radically changed. People have finally gotten their long desired freedom - freedom of speech, freedom to travel abroad, freedom of choice. People have gotten new opportunities to improve their lives, the right to have private property and private business. The stores are full of products, people are able to buy anything they need, the quality of service has greatly improved.

Yet, as paradoxical as it sounds, a lot of former Soviet citizens now become increasingly nostalgic about the life in the USSR. As people themselves explain this paradox, it is not only a nostalgia for their youth, but also for the era of strong cultural and moral values​​, high standards of education and the arts, for the era of great enthusiasm and optimism. The further away the Soviet era becomes, the greater is the need to study its history and preserve its cultural heritage. The interest in the Soviet past is steadily rising. Numerous Soviet made objects, which were once quite commonplace, now become valuable collectibles. Exhibitions of the Soviet art, design or posters are opened and arouse interest not only within the former Soviet republics, but also abroad. In the recent years, besides countless new websites, there were also many amateur exhibitions created, dedicated to the life in the Soviet Union. These exhibitions, created by private collectors and enthusiasts, are usually temporary and quite small, but they attract a lot of attention and quickly become very popular.

During research of these exhibitions, hundreds of articles, video reports and a lot of visitor feedback were reviewed. As the conclusion it is safe to divide all feedback into two groups. Majority of the visitors respond to the exhibitions rapturously. Others respond positively, but comment on the bareness of the collections and lack of really rare and interesting artifacts. These people come to the exhibitions with much curiosity and even excitement, but leave them greatly disappointed.

(Mostly by elderly
and young visitors)
(Mostly by middle aged visitors)
  • People of the older generation are pleased to see many long-forgotten objects from their youth. They are happy to show these things and explain them to their children and grandchildren.
  • Teenagers usually enjoy the exhibitions as they have never seen any of the presented objects and don't know anything about Soviet Union. Also they are attracted by the abundance of Soviet symbols and the fact that most of the objects can be touched.
  • Lack of really interesting, unusual and valuable items, having a cultural or historical significance. Most of the presented objects are still kept in many homes and could be easily found on flea markets.
  • The exhibitions are quite small and are usually limited to objects representing only the last few decades of the USSR.
  • The exhibitions don't have any educational value. Soviet history, major events and specifics of life is not revealed at all. Heavy emphasis is made on nostalgia for the objects themselves, poverty and primitiveness of Soviet household.
  • The exhibitions are unprofessional. Objects are presented chaotically, without any explanation.
  • All exhibitions in Russia have a one sided, positive attitude towards the USSR with a heavy emphasis on nostalgia. The themes of history and ideology are not touched. At the same time, the exhibitions on theme of the USSR abroad have a distinctly negative, anti-Soviet attitude. Thus, none of these exhibitions show a full, unbiased picture of the USSR and its culture.
Overall these are nice amateur exhibits of vintage things, especially for older, undemanding visitors, who grew up in the USSR and are already well familiar with the USSR culture. The visitors, who have absolutely no knowledge of Soviet history and life, also enjoy the exhibits, but leave them with an extremely limited and distorted image of the USSR, mostly based on overused stereotypes. Nevertheless, all visitors without exception welcome these exhibits and express a desire for their quality to improve, which demonstrates the need for a professional museum.

All deficiencies of the past and current exhibits will be corrected in the proposed USSR museum. The new museum will greatly exceed the expectations of both groups. Growing interest in Soviet past and popularity of the exhibits on the theme of USSR prove that the new USSR museum is necessary and it will be successful.