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97/2/13 Bust, Yuri Gagarin, metal, Exhibition Centre, USSR/Russian Academy of Sciences, USSR, [1984]. Click to enlarge.

Bust of Yuri Gagarin

Made by Soviet/Russian Academy of Sciences in USSR, pre 1985.

A 2:1 scale ‘heroic’ bust of Yuri Alexeievich Gagarin, the first person in space. The bust is made of copper-coated metal and stands on an integrally-designed base, which has been designed to look like the neck-ring of Gagarin’s space suit.

Summary

Object No.

97/2/13

Object Statement

Bust, Yuri Gagarin, metal, Exhibition Centre, USSR/Russian Academy of Sciences, USSR, [1984]

Physical Description

A 2:1 scale 'heroic' bust of Yuri Alexeievich Gagarin, the first person in space. The bust is made of copper-coated metal and stands on an integrally-designed base, which has been designed to look like the neck-ring of Gagarin's space suit.

Marks

No marks

Dimensions

Height

1030 mm

Width

700 mm

Production

Notes

The bust was designed by an unidentified craftsperson or people, at the Exhibition Centre of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. The 'heroic' bust was a common propaganda device during the Soviet era. The greater than life-size proportions and idealised features of the person depicted were intended to convey an impression of their power, authority and status, and thus, by implication, give praise to the political system which could produce such impressive people.

This bust was manufactured in the workshops of the Exhibition Centre of the then-Soviet Academy of Sciences.

No information has ever been provided by the USSR/Russian Academy of Sciences as to the actual construction date of any of the items lent to the museum. The proposed date is a best estimate, based on the evidence of prior display, before the material came to the Powerhouse.

History

Notes

This bust was made by the Soviet Academy of Sciences for use in exhibitions about the Soviet space program, mounted outside the USSR. It is not known what previous exhibitions it may have been used in. It was placed within exhibitions to commemorate the achivement of Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet citizen, as the first person in space. Born in 1934, Gagarin trained as a foundry worker before learning to fly and joining the Soviet Air Force as a pilot in 1955. He became a test pilot and was selected as one of the first group of cosmonaut trainees in 1960. Personally selected for the flight by Korolyev, Gagarin became the first person to travel in space, when he made one orbit of the Earth in the Vostok-1 spacecraft, on 12 April, 1961. His flight was deliberately timed to pre-empt the first American crewed space flight, which occurred on 5 May. After his space mission, Gagarin spent several years touring the world as a Soviet goodwill ambassador. He was killed in a plane crash in 1968, while training for his next space flight.
Originally owned by the USSR Academy of Sciences. lent to the museum in 1987 as part of L2046. This entire collection was purchased by the museum in 1996.

Source

Credit Line

Purchased 1997

Acquisition Date

20 January 1997

Cite this Object

Harvard

Bust of Yuri Gagarin 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 23 October 2019, <https://ma.as/156938>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/156938 |title=Bust of Yuri Gagarin |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=23 October 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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