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POLUPANOV, Stefan Nikolaevich.

Arkhitekturnie pamiatniki Samarkanda [i.e. The Architectural Monuments of Samarkand]

Availability: In stock

Published: Moscow Publishing House of the Academy of Architecture, 1948

Stock Code: 133933

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First edition. "Official" study of the ancient mosques of Samarkand, suggestive of then current developments in Soviet architectural doctrine. The author Stefan Polupanov (1904-1957) was a leading Tashkent-based architect; "A graduate of the Kharkov Artistic-Construction Institute, Polupanov enjoyed a long career in Tashkent city planning " (Stronski, Tashkent: Forging a Soviet City, 1930-1966, p.35). As one of the planners of Soviet Kharkov "capital of the Ukraine second most important republic in the Soviet Union" Polupanov was "thoroughly steeped in the Soviet architectural movement, particularly the constructivist movement". However, his most important work in Uzbekistan was being completed just as constructivist elements were being purged from Soviet architecture. He quickly added columns to the façade of the recently completed Government House in Tashkent to make it more "monumental" (p.38), later "transforming the interior of the building into a celebrated work of Soviet Uzbek national architecture", and writing in Arkhitektura SSSR that "architects in Uzbekistan needed to study traditional examples of Uzbek ornamentation and incorporate them into the mainstream of Soviet architecture" (p.55). The present work certainly contains a wealth of models towards that end. Polupanov's most famous work is the Uzbek pavilion at VDNKh - the Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy - which incorporates numerous stylistic and design elements from vernacular Uzbek arts; " a ten-pointed star motif alluded to the traditional eight-pointed design, but with its two superimposed and slightly rotated five-pointed stars, it now echoed the famous symbol of Soviet power. The abstract foliage patterns of traditional ornament were rendered here as cotton plants and grapevines, reflecting the transformation of agriculture" (Castillo, "Peoples at an Exhibition" in Lahusen and Dobrenko, Socialist Realism without Shores, p.105). An excellent copy of this important and timely study, uncommon in the jacket.

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Quarto, original cloth-backed boards, title gilt to the spine together with geometric decoration in brown, title to the front board in gilt and green, boards decorated with a repeated quatrefoil design in taupe, gilt panel, pale green decorated endpapers. With the dust jacket, title repeated from front board within debossed cartouche.


Tipped-in colour frontispiece and 6 other similar plates, close to 150 illustrations from black and white photographs, the great majority full-page.


Lowers corners rubbed, spine gilding a touch oxidised, else very good in slightly rubbed jacket with a few minor splits and chips.


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