The sculpture “worker and collective farm girl”

The standard of socialist realism – the so-called it is a monumental work of Vera Mukhina, who became one of the main symbols of the Soviet Union. The idea of the sculpture belongs to the architect Iofan, which was invented to combine the ideas of two ancient statues – “the worry about tyrant killers”(Critias) and “nick of Samothrace”(unknown author). In the first case, the architect was inspired by the General line of sculptures and Aristogeiton Harmodius, formed a conspiracy against the tyrant Hipparchus. In the second case dynamics and Patriotic sounding sculptures.

The state order is provided for the placement of the sculpture at the entrance to the Soviet pavilion at the world exhibition in Paris. Since the pavilions of Germany and the USSR were facing each other, a sculptural composition in all possible artistic and monumental assets had to demonstrate the ideological superiority of communism over Nazism.


Vera Mukhina came to the creation of the main ideological works, with its scope and talent. Two figures – working men and women, high up over the head symbols of USSR – hammer and sickle. They are directed upward, they share a moment of triumph, the great victory. The idea of labour winning the eternal and indestructible Union of the proletariat and the peasantry – the main Communist dogma – in the great Vera Mukhina looks vital and attractive.

For the achievement of additional effect, the sculpture was decided to be from thin sheets of stainless steel which reflects the light and change its color depending on the sunlight.


In may 1937, the sculpture height of 58 meters (25 meters is the actual sculpture and 33 meter pedestal) graced the exhibition pavilion of the Soviet Union. It is known that the exploration of the Soviet Union was seriously interested in design of the German pavilion, as a result, the height of the Soviet pavilion was several meters higher, which undoubtedly pleased the leadership of the country and upset the Germans.

Parisians went to look at the sculpture several times a day because it constantly changed its colour at sunrise she was pink, day – bright silver and sunset gold.

After the exhibition the French began to raise funds in order to buy Soviet sculpture and leave it in Paris. Stalin flatly refused.


The end of the 40-ies of the “worker and collective farm girl” is the main symbol of the Mosfilm studios. The sculpture is often found in documentaries and feature films. Now she was the most talented and impressive monument of its era.

In the early 21st century, the monument suffered serious and protracted restoration. Since 2009, the benchmark of socialist realism once again graces the entrance to the national exhibition centre.

Tatyana (28 September 2018 23:29)

In 2010, in the premises of the pedestal opened a great Museum dedicated to Boris Iofan, Vera Mukhina and the history of the monument! I’d love to get it back!!!