Title of the article:



Alla L. Usanova

Sergey M. Budkeev

Information about the author/authors

Alla L. Usanova — DSC in Arts, Associate Professor, Altai State University, Dimitrova St., 66, 656049 Barnaul, Russia. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4815-2658. E-mail: alla_leo@mail.ru

Sergei M. Budkeev — DSc in Arts, Associate Professor, Altai State University, Dimitrova St., 66, 656049 Barnaul, Russia. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8948-1696. E-mail: lwlm@yandex.ru


History of Arts




Vol. 58


pp. 278-288


November 27, 2019

Date of publication

December 28, 2020



Index UDK


Index BBK



In the early 1990s, the return of religious consciousness led to a revival of interest in religious culture and norms of behavior. The appearance of icons and holy images in the interior was often accompanied by a violation of ethical standards at their placement. Analysis of a representative space in the domestic urban interior of the first half of the twentieth century in the context of historical processes allows us to determine its artistic significance and to reveal semantic transformations of the concepts “red corner” and “place of honor”. According to patriarchal tradition, home iconostasis, located in the so-called “red” corner (opposite to the entrance of the house), is the center in all respects: sacred, ritual, and artistic — aesthetic. Changes in the way of life, traditions and conditions of urban inhabitants (middle class, urban peasants) in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are associated with economic and political events in the country. The influx of population into the cities aggravated the housing problem and caused the spread of new forms of mass urban housing: tenement houses, workers' dormitories, while industrial revolution contributed to the erosion of estate boundaries in interior design, subject filling and spatial orientation of dwelling`s representative part. During the anti-religious campaign, the Soviet government massively banished the images of saints from the visible space of a private dwelling, yet, making use of the sacred essence and moral significance of the shrines location, it produced manipulations for changing the meaning: “red corners” are an indispensable attribute of administrative and public interiors and hostels. The phrase “red corner” is filled with a new ideological meaning, whereas the meaning of this memorial space remains its moral and spiritual education connotations. Since the mid-1930s, with the beginning of mass housing construction, stimulation of consumer demand by the state began to shape artistic and everyday traditions in the interior of the Soviet standard dwelling. Spatial organization of the new townsman`s dwelling differed little from interiors of the peasant hut. A visible (front) part of the interior (the front corner), still acted as a semantic center of the dwelling, performing representative functions. However, the object complex (bookcase with books, radiotracks, reproductions of paintings, etc.) located in the visible area begins to represent the level of tenant`s cultural claims, while the decoration (lace and embroidered napkins) emphasizes strengthening of its prestigious status for the dwelling`s interior. Thus, a retrospective analysis of semantic content of the concept of “red corner”, including its historical and artistic context, allows us concluding that the subject-spatial organization of the dwelling not only reflects the person's idea of the world, but serves as a visible indicator of spiritual, moral, ideological and cultural transformations of society.


place of honor, dwelling, Soviet city interior.


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