Soviet Life


Soviet Life
May 1968-May 1981 (incomplete)

In 1956 the U.S. and Soviet governments agreed to a mutual propaganda plan modeled on Life. From them we got The USSR which became Soviet Life which became Russian Life. From us they got Amerika which became America Illustrated. “Soft” propaganda for a Cold War. Gentle cultural competition. Achievement, progress, beauty, tourism. Soviet Life could celebrate the cosmonauts and the construction of a dam as though ballistics and explosives were signs of society’s liberation. One can just imagine what Amerika looked like.

Somewhat relatedly, the U.S. Information Agency, which seems to have had a hand in all this, also employed Chermayeff & Geismar (which later added & Haviv) for a traveling Russian-language exhibition that showcased American design. Featured among the designer portraits, which can be found in the Milton Glaser Archives, was none other than Milton Glaser.

Find Soviet Life bound in green in the back near the bathrooms.



Intercosmos: Orbits of Cooperation, April 1981

cosmo wives

Perhaps the Hardest Part is Waiting, April 1981


Kutaisi, This Wonderful Town, May 1981


The Festival for Everybody, May 1981

marx lincoln

Marx and Lincoln, May 1968


Women Take Over Men’s Jobs, May 1981


What is Kreshchatik to the Man on the Street?, July 1968


Blast Saves a City, June 1968

Nest : a magazine of interiors


Fall 1998-Fall 2004

In the Winter 1999-2000 issue of Nest, architect and urban theorist Rem Koolhaas wrote in critical appreciation:

Nest goes for the jugular of the secretive. Sometimes the intimacies revealed are almost voyeuristically painful. It is significant that in the era of celebrity and the relentless confessional, the glimpses of previously hidden lives that Nest reveals are shocking in their acute, slightly obscene quality. They show the extent of editing, pruning and laundering that the professional press of revelation performs before launching its “surprises” for the public. By insisting on the intricacies of private life Nest reveals the complete flattening of the public at the end of the 20th century.”

Founding editor Joseph Holtzman “believed that an igloo, a prison cell or a child’s attic room (adorned with Farrah Fawcett posters) could be as compelling as a room by a famous designer” (NYT). His relentless magazine ran for 26 issues. The SVA Library has all but the first issues (donations encouraged).

These scans don’t do its vibrancy justice.

fall 98 igloo

Igloos, Fall 1998

fall 98 house

“This building is my memory,” Fall 1998

fall 98 cell

A Room of One’s Own, Fall 1998

wntr 2000

Philip Apagya’s Portrait Studio, Winter 1999-2000

wntr 01-02 witness

Final Nest: Death Chambers, Winter 2001-2002

wntr 01-02 l harris

Les Harris, Winter 2001-2002


Object Lesson, Summer 2000 (inside the home of Warhol’s longtime manager Fred Hughes, whose bedridden baldspot is featured in the foreground)

summer01 3

Palace of Living Art, Summer 2000 (Van Gogh in wax)

sprng 04

Divine Providence, Spring 2004 (“recent design trends at Rhode Island School of Design”)

And if beautifully published periodicals on realistic interior design (i.e. not Architectural Digest–which we also have) is your thing, have a look at Spain based Apartemento .

Umbrella’s Art Crimes

cover 12.01

1983-2005 (incomplete)

Librarian Judith Hoffberg created Umbrella in 1978 as “a means of intercommunication for art historians, artists, librarians and anyone else who is interested” in “news and information relative to a part of art history that usually never gets discussed in the mainstream.” This meant artist books and mail art, mostly, but the journal’s blue and black pages were open to more.

back 12.90

Eric Drooker, L, December 1990

In the listings section of each issue is the heading Lost and Found, under which went news briefs related to artistic heists and recoveries. Below is a sampling of the reach of art’s underworld.

lf 10.83

October 1983

lf 12.90

December 1990

lf 12.98

December 1998

8.04 lf

August 2004

12.05 lf

December 2005

Umbrella ran in print to 2005 and then online until 2008. Hoffberg passed away in 2009.

Find our incomplete collection (30+ issues) of the irregular journal in Periodicals.

The Sienese Shredder


The Sienese Shredder
nos 1-4; 2006-2010

The Sienese Shredder #1 has a mango cover with a fox and a clock. Inside, right off the bat, is History and Truth (a commencement address), followed by Gérard de Nerval’s Chantilly (“filled with very old retired servants, walking their limping dogs”), postcard collages by John Ashbery, music by Alan Shockley, the marketing of surrealism, Ron Padgett, Harry Mathews, A Parliament of Refrigerator Magnets, delirious episodes in contemporary art, a poem played out through a lyrical Twister, a Duchampian chess challenge bearing a cupid, Honey’s Metaphoric Energy Transfer, The New Crustacean, and more, ending after over 200 pages with J-K Huysmans, of Against Nature, in Haarlem.

Flip through the next three and find currency collages, mute critics, bughouse poets, Whitman’s glasses, Toilet Rolls, Macintoshages, octopussarian impulses, de Kooning’s last drawing, epitaphs by William Beckford, eyeballs, giant-size mini books, spools by Crumb, and Jesus Christ. These aren’t even the highlights.

Founded and edited by Brice Brown and Trevor Winkfield, The Shredder ran for four issues, 2006-2010. Each issue contained an audio CD. “Contents can include writings by visual artists; art by writers; poets as installation artists; photographers as poets, and the range of contributors moves from the well-known and up-and-coming to the unknown or forgotten,” says the website (which has excerpts and issues for sale).

The complete series is available in our Periodicals archive.



Shirley Jaffe, Paintings (Issue #1)

Shirley Jaffe, Paintings (Issue #1)


Raphael Rubinstein, In Search of the Miraculous: 50 Episodes from the Annals of Contemporary Art (Issue#1)

Raphael Rubinstein, In Search of the Miraculous: 50 Episodes from the Annals of Contemporary Art (Issue#1)


Jane Hammond, Paintings (Issue #1)

Jane Hammond, Paintings (Issue #1)


Ron Morosan, Louis Eilshemius Drawings (Issue #1)

Ron Morosan, Louis Eilshemius Drawings (Issue #1)


John Graham, The Case of Mr. Picasso (Issue #3)

John Graham, The Case of Mr. Picasso (Issue #3)


Larry Rivers, Poems and Drawings from the 1950s (Issue #3)

Larry Rivers, Poems and Drawings from the 1950s (Issue #3)



UFOs, Aliens, & Spaceships

The images below belong to the “UFOs, Aliens & Spaceships” folder.

As the name suggests, this folder contains illustrations, “photographic evidence” and other imagery related to various sightings and alleged first hand extraterrestrial encounters. While in some photographs UFOs are depicted as mere specs of light, in others they seem to appear in uncanny detail. There are also photographs of people who have started cults or societies to spread their belief in extraterrestrial existence and intergalactic cooperation. The elaborate fantasy art work you will find in the folder is indicative of our voracious fascination with worlds beyond our own.

This folder contains 21 illustrations and 29 photographs, with a total of 50 images.



















Sightings Vol 2 Issue 5 (1997)



Sightings Vol 2 Issue 5 (1997)



Sightings Vol 2 Issue 5 (1997)



Photograph : Cedric Allingham



Sightings Vol 2 Issue 5 (1997) | Courtesy of Mike Hawkins




Weird U.S. (2008) | Dr. Beard of the Hollow Earth Society



Weird U.S. (2008)



Weird U.S. (2008) | Photography : Ryan Doan | Art : Riley Martin








Sightings Vol 2 Issue 5 (1999) | Art : Monarca Lynn Metrifield






















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