The images produced by the TASS studio and by other Soviet publishing houses printing offset lithographic posters, like Iskusstvo, were used to fashion an image of the Soviet cause on international shores. This came in the form of press coverage, as well as direct mailings from the Moscow-based USSR Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries (VOKS). The posters in this section were all published early, and often, in the American and British press, helping to create a mood of urgency while visually aggrandizing the Soviet soldier, defining the Nazi enemy as vile and subhuman, and emphasizing the woeful suffering of the Soviet people.
These posters played an important role in the developing visual language of propaganda in the United States, where they were seen by many as models for political artistic involvement. They were also used by a range of international philanthropic agencies like Russian War Relief, Inc. that were established with the goal of collecting and distributing humanitarian aid to various national, ethnic, religious, and social denominations impacted by war.
In England, Soviet posters were largely disseminated through the British Minister of Supply Lord Beaverbrok. At a meeting with Stalin in late September 1941, Lord Beaverbrook was presented with a gift of Soviet war posters and anti-Nazi cartoons that he later published in the book The Spirit of the Soviet Union. Many of the images were republished for English audiences by Beaverbrook’s Ministry of Supply and by other British firms such as Stafford & Co., Ltd.
After Boris Efimovich Efimov. Pictorial Presentation of the True Aryan [Visual Presentation of "Aryan" Descent] (TASS 22 - English version), 1941. University of Minnesota Library, msp03143.