Москва (Moscow): "Aрабеска" (Arabesque), 2015 (First volume); 2016 (Second volume). Limited First edition. Hardcover. 1/250. Folio (17 x 13").  leaves (Title and Introductory text); 60, leaves (Plates),  leaf (Color map of the Moscow subway),  leaf (List of Contents), as issued (Volume 1) [WITH]  leaves (Title and Introductory text); 60, leaves (Plates),  leaf (Folded color map of the Moscow subway),  leaf (List of Contents), as issued (Volume 2). Original grey cloth portfolio with blind-stamped lettering to spine and title laid on each front cover. Each title page in grey lettering.
Published to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Moscow subway, this two-volume set is a splendid photographic journey through the Russian capital's gorgeous underground. Indeed, the Moscow subway was one of the Soviet Union's most revolutionary architectural projects, with stations constructed as luxurious "palaces for the people" with its chandeliers, reflective marble walls, intricate mosaics, high ceilings and heroic statues, all of which creating an opulent space that was accessible for the city’s workers.
The first designs for Moscow’s subway were submitted to city officials under the reign of Czar Nicholas II in 1902. Moscow wanted to rival earlier systems in London, Paris and Berlin, but the Russian city’s plans were repeatedly postponed due to the uprising of 1905, WWI (1914-1918), and the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. Metro plans were finally approved by Joseph Stalin in 1931 and construction work began two years later under the supervision of Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich*. The Moscow metro finally opened on May 15, 1935.
Of the 120 plates contained in this work (60 per portfolio), 104 are b/w photographic reproductions showing subway operators at work, people waiting for their train, passengers boarding and onboard trains, as well as outside and inside views of the Russian capital's subway infrastructure. Some photographs depict bas-reliefs, friezes, marble and bronze statues. 16 plates are color illustrations of various stations. All the photographs were taken between 1935 and 1940 by some of the best Russian photographers of the period.
The captioned photographic reproductions and color illustrations are tipped-in onto a 17 x 13" white cardstock, with image size varying from 12 1/4 x 9 1/4" to 7 1/4 x 9 1/4".
Text and captions in Russian. Both portfolios and interior in overall very good condition. vg. Item #41030
* Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich (1893-1991) was a Soviet politician and administrator and one of the main associates of Joseph Stalin. In the 1930s, Kaganovich, along with project managers Ivan Kuznetsov and, later, Isaac Segal, organized and contributed greatly to the building of the first Soviet underground rapid-transport system, the Moscow Metro, known as "Метро им. Л. М. Кагановича" (Metropoliten imeni L.M. Kaganovicha) after him.