Vera Ignatyevna Mukhina (born 1 July 1889 in Riga; died 6 October 1953 in Moscow) was a prominent Soviet sculptor.

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In the 1920s Mukhina rose to become one of the Soviet Union’s most prominent sculptors, and although she continued to produce cubist sculpture as late as 1922, she became a leading figure of Socialist realism, both in style and ideology. She taught at the state school, Vkhutemas, in 1926-1927, and came to international attention with the 1937 Worker and Kolkhoz Woman. Her studio’s work on official monuments and architectural sculpture on state commissions continued through her death. She also experimented with glass, producing glass figural busts. According to legend, the classic Soviet faceted table-glass was designed by Mukhina.

From 1941 to 1952, Mukhina won the Stalin Prize five times, was named People’s Artist of the USSR in 1943. In 1953 she wrote “A Sculptor’s Thoughts”.

Mukhina’s most celebrated work by far is the giant monument Worker and Kolkhoz Woman which was the centerpiece of the Soviet pavilion at the 1937 International Exhibition in Paris.It was the world’s first welded sculpture. The 24-meter-tall, 75-ton monument was made of plate of stainless steel on a wooden frame, the plates connected by an innovative method of spot welding. One hand of each figure holds respectively a hammer and a sickle, the two implements joining to form the hammer and sickle symbol of the Soviet Union. In 1947 the sculpture, now on permanent display at the All-Russia Exhibition Centre, became the logo of the Russian Mosfilm studio. It was renovated and re-installed on a higher pedestal in 2009 (see exclusive photos by SovietEraMuseum below).

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