Russian Traffic Posters organized by Joseph Lawton November 3 – December 5, 2016
Russian Traffic Posters organized by Joseph Lawton
November 3 – December 5, 2016
In 1991 the Hunter College Visual Arts Department's photography faculty was invited to participate in an exhibition in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Cold War was coming to an end and there was a large appetite for all things Western and in particular American. At that time I was an adjunct professor teaching at Hunter as well as here at Fordham. The department was asked to send a faculty member to represent the college at the exhibition and I was asked if I would go.
I readily agreed and late in October of that year found myself on my way to St. Petersburg. I added some additional days to my official visit, and while not attending functions related to the exhibition found time, and precious daylight, to wander the city and photograph. Days are short in St. Petersburg at that time of year. On one of those days I decided to get off the streets, out of the cold, and stopped into a department store. Like most stores at that time, it was a bare-bones affair with little merchandise, poor lighting, nonexistent signage, and remarkably surly sales people.
Wandering to the back of the store I came across a stack of posters covering a mix of subjects ranging from traffic posters to how to plant a landmine or throw a grenade. Fascinated and amused, I gathered a number of posters, paid for them after a prolonged price negotiation, and walked out of the store. In this exhibition I have chosen a selection of traffic posters to put on view.
Joseph Lawton, 2016