I visited the National Gallery of Art in Tirana last fall with a volunteer friend who unfortunately has since been sent back to America after fallin into one of the many sewers without a sewer lid. The Gallery building is in the middle of Tirana and even if you have only the slightest eye for architecture, it is immediately obvious that this is a communist era building of importance.
The museum is at least 50% socialist realism and then the rest is exhibitions.
So apparently they allow photography because I took pictures of all the Socialist Realism they had. To be honest the socialist realist art at this museum is not that imaginative and looks just like socialist realism from everywhere else. It’s kind of a one trick-pony. We get it. Workers. It does give you a good idea of what the era was all about, however, based on what youll see.
What you see:
Industrialism was something to brag about. Lots of smoke stacks. Albania tried to go from subsistence agriculture to industrial powerhouse with the power of marxism-leninism. obviously, it was a huge failure.
Militarism played a large role in the culture of communist Albania. Everyone was a soldier. Just look at all the guns in the photos.
Gender Equality. Communists tend to get a few things right because even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Women are featured prominently in socialist realist art.
Workers! After all, it was a dictatorship of the proletariat, right? You’ll see workers of all types simply working.
That’s it for today… mirupafshim!