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Huntly Carter Collection

The Huntly Carter Collection provides a rich visual resource on Soviet avant-garde architecture and theatre in the 1920s-30s. It is of interest to researchers, theatre practitioners and publishers.

Huntly Carter was a theatre critic, author and lecturer on Russian theatre who travelled extensively in the Soviet Union between 1921-38. He was particularly interested in the new Russian theatre that developed after the Revolution and was struck by its vitality, humanity and civilising force. His views on Russian-Soviet theatre are expressed in works such as The New Spirit in the Russian Theatre 1917-28, published in 1929.

On his travels in the Soviet Union in the 1920s-30s Huntly Carter met all the leading theatre directors, actors and designers of the day, including Meyerhold, Mayakovsky, Stanislavsky, Exter, Rodchenko, Eisenstein and Mikhoels. He wrote of these encounters in his books and also gathered together a remarkable collection of photographs of original productions, set and costume designs.

The collection also holds photographs of early Soviet architecture, including images of a number of iconic buildings of the period.


Production photograph of Mayakovsky's The Bedbug, directed by Meyerhold, 1929 (Huntly Carter Collection, SCRSS Photo Library)


Vsevolod Meyerhold, 1923 (Huntly Carter Collection, SCRSS Photo Library)


Proletkult political satire: Religion is the Opium of the People, early 1920s (Huntly Carter Collection, SCRSS Photo Library)