The Worker and the Collective Farm Woman

My quest to see the sculpture The Worker and the Collective Farm Woman in Moscow, Russia has finally ended!! I’ll occasionally travel to Moscow for work and a few trips ago I was in a van heading to Star City. I glanced out the left window and saw a huge sculpture off the side of the highway that looked so incredibly Soviet that I wanted to track it down and take some pictures. There wasn’t time on that trip and I was so unfamiliar with Moscow that I probably wouldn’t have been able to locate it if I’d tried. Well, on a subsequent trip, I traveled to the All-Russian Exhibition Center to try and find it and it was gone!!!

A little history and what happened to the disappearing sculpture: The sculpture itself was originally made from stainless steel (still is) in 1937 by Very Mukhina for the World’s Fair in Paris and later moved to Moscow. The sculpture is one of the most admired examples of Soviet socialist realism. The 80-foot sculpture depicts the two figures striding forward, both with arms raised; the man holding a hammer and the woman holding a sickle to form the Soviet hammer and sickle symbol. In 2003 the sculpture was removed for restoration (the reason I couldn’t find it) and replaced in December 2009 on a new pavilion. I guess I could’ve seen it the last time I was here, but the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics (which is in that area) was closed at that time so I didn’t venture off in that direction of Moscow (particularly since it was February and very, very cold).

I’m super psyched that I was able to track down the sculpture on this trip and snap some photos. I love finding old Soviet era stuff in Moscow. I remember going to the Bolshoi Theater a few trips ago and being overwhelmed by the Soviet symbols on the inside of the theater. And during my last trip I visited the Sculpture Park (formerly known as the Park of the Fallen Heroes) which was filled with a collection of old Soviet statues and sculptures. To me The Worker and the Collective Farm Woman, however, is almost the pinnacle of that era (particularly with the hammer and sickle symbolism and because of its prominence and size). At any rate, I’m thrilled to have finally seen this sculpture and to have snapped some photos.

Thanks for reading and checking out the photos it took today.


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