The World at Large: Bulgarian Artists of the 1960 Children’s Books Cover Image
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В широкия свят: българските художници на детски книги през 1960-те години
The World at Large: Bulgarian Artists of the 1960 Children’s Books

Author(s): Irina Genova
Subject(s): Fine Arts / Performing Arts, Visual Arts, History of Art
Published by: Институт за изследване на изкуствата, Българска академия на науките

Summary/Abstract: The article discusses Bulgarian artists’ views of the world practices in illustration of children’s books and their participations in international exhibitions. In the Cold War, many new and traditional art forums were developed and maintained with the idea of mediating communication in the field of culture. Among them were book fairs and exhibitions held in Frankfurt, Leipzig, Bologna, Bratislava, Moscow and elsewhere. Children’s editions were thought of as a ground particularly conducive to the exchange of cultural experiences. In this most general context, children’s books from Bulgaria travelled and appeared on the shelves next to books created in the ‘world at large’. Artists also travelled to attend book fairs and exhibitions. In the 1960s, talented artists of the younger generation such as Luben Zidarov, Ivan Kiosev, Ivan Kirkov, Borislav Stoev among many others, brought about a revival in the field of children’s books in conditions of support by the communist authorities for that field. Bulgarian artists conceived and practiced the illustration of books for children and adolescents in a creative partnership with the literary text. In terms of form and style, they had a variety of authorial choices and skills: pictorial and graphic, in the area of the graphic print or its imitation; relief printing (woodcut, linen) or intaglio printing (etching, dry needle); references to children’s drawings, etc. These qualities of the book illustrations for children and adolescents in Bulgaria under communism are the reason for our present interest. Yet, there were many difficulties facing the realisation of books outside Bulgaria. In the West, book fairs were venues for signing contracts with publishers. In the so-called Eastern Bloc, publishers had no autonomy, as in the West. The management of their activities was centralised. Books by Bulgarian authors could be exported only if translated. On the other hand, many well-illustrated and designed children’s books were translated from foreign languages. In addition, the poor quality of the materials and the print did not allow the skills and talent of the artists to manifest themselves and to be realised on an international level.

  • Issue Year: 2019
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 43-50
  • Page Count: 8
  • Language: Bulgarian