Social Realism, The Art of Communism
The art of Communism was only acceptable if it promoted the symbols of its values: the heroic soldier, the obedient worker, the tireless mother, anonymous cogs in the machine, diligently serving the state…art as propaganda.
Complete Video Script
 While Western Europe rebounded from the War, the Eastern half languished under Communist rule. Taking full advantage of the power of art as propaganda, Communism allowed public art only if it promoted its ideology.
[120, Memento Park, Budapest; paintings from Kumu art museum, Tallinn, Estonia] Ruled by the Soviet Union for nearly 50 years, Eastern Europe developed its own culture, and state-sponsored art, called "Social Realism." It was doggedly optimistic, realistic yet idealized — sticking with traditional techniques, and never tired of depicting the Communist All-Stars — Marx…local wannabe Stalins…and Lenin — shown here in his ever-popular "hailing a cab" pose.
[121, Building the Republic, 1952, Lingner, Berlin; Museum of Socialist Art, Sofia, Bulgaria] Censorship was extreme. Art was only acceptable if it promoted socialism and the symbols of its values — the heroic soldier…the obedient worker…the tireless mother…anonymous cogs in the machine, diligently serving the state…art as propaganda. For nearly a half century, this ideology had its day, but, when Communism collapsed, its monuments fell with it, becoming museum pieces.