Vladimir Lebedev. Cover of Vchera i segodnia (Yesterday and today) by Samuil Marshak. 1925
Lebedev’s philosophy toward children’s books was clear: they should be, in his words, “colorful, specific, concrete,” and find a balance between sophistication and accessibility, high and low. Though he drew on the avant-garde languages of Cubism and Suprematism, he never fully abandoned figuration, offering a familiar anchor to children while introducing them to new visual modes. Likewise, the goal of his collaborator, writer Samuil Marshak, was to create a new children’s literature, one that nourished the mind in both content and form. Lebedev and Marshak, who began working together in 1924, created dozens of books, many so popular that they were issued in massive editions of 10,000 with reprints not far behind.
Learn more at MoMA.org/centuryofthechild