Author: Josh Wilson

Elena Martilla: Artist of the Blockade

Elena Oskarovna Martilla came of age as an artist during WWII in Leningrad. She created haunting images of the suffering the residents of that blockaded city lived through as well as proud images of their perseverance. Today, she is 98 years old and still producing art. The Russian Museum, one of the St. Petersburg’s largest […]

9 Recommended Theaters in Moscow

Russia is known for its theater and ballet. Take advantage and see all that you can while here. You can buy tickets at the theater or concert hall itself or from a reseller such as Parter or Ponominalu, which allow you to reserve tickets pick them up at location near you or even have them […]

Bulgakov’s Moscow: His House Museum and Other Sites to Explore

Many places in The Master and Margarita, Bulgakov’s cult-classic literary masterpiece, are real places (or based off real places) in Moscow. Furthermore, as Bulgakov lived and died in Moscow, there are many places to visit that are otherwise connected to the author’s life and work. For any Bulgakov fan, a visit to Moscow will not […]

The Leningrad Zoo: Under the Tsars, during WWII, and Today

The Leningrad Zoo was first found in August of 1865 as the private collection of Sophia and Julius Gebhardt. Although a small zoo, its history has been incredibly dramatic, surviving wars, revolutions, economic and political collapse and, perhaps most notably, the 872-day siege of Leningrad, when the whole city had to survive bombing and potential […]

The Muzeon and Art Market

Across the street from Gorky Park, on the territory of the New Tretyakov Gallery and the Central House of Artists lies Sculpture Park, which is known as “Muzeon” to locals. It is most famous as a graveyard of Soviet era statues, but also contains much modern art and several themed, sculpted landscapes all in an […]

The Hermitage State Museum: Exploring Art and History

The following provides a short history of The Winter Palace building and The State Hermitage Museum as well as details the museum’s current programs and world-wide activities today. It also provides reviews of self exploration and guided tours of the Hermitage. Hermitage tours are included with most St. Petersburg SRAS Programs and Moscow SRAS programs. […]

Science Fiction and Fantasy From Behind the Iron Curtain

Science fiction/fantasy, often shorthanded to SFF, is a genre of media concerned with supernatural, fantastical, or other elements beyond our current technological capabilities. Although its roots run deep, borrowing inspiration and elements present in The Odyssey or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, SFF truly came into its own after the Industrial Revolution. It was a […]

Moscow’s Cultural Institutions Being Revived After COVID

Moscow’s cultural life is slowly reopening after months of closure due to COVID-19. Theatres and concert halls are being revived, although with extensive restrictions on seating and other saftey measures taken. Below is a Russian news report with transcription in side-by-side translation. Некоторые театры уже открылись. В других идут последние приготовления к встрече с публикой. […]

Repin Masterpiece Still Under Restoration 1.5 Years After Attack

“Ivan the Terrible Kills His Son,” one of Russian master Ilya Repin’s best-known paintings, was damaged by a vandal a year and a half ago. The man was motivated by his belief that the painting shows an event that never happened and is essentially “fake news” blackening the image of Ivan the Terrible. He used […]

Exhibition of Peter the Great’s Art, Science, and Chinese Ties Opens in Moscow

A new exhibition at the Moscow Kremlin Museum, and the below television report about its opening, attempt to at once humanize and expand the mythology around Peter the Great. Opening with descriptions of well-known history and including descriptions of items that would be expected at a exhibition devoted to royalty, the exhibition and report also […]

New Tretaykov Exhibition Focuses on Work of Director Andrei Tarkovsky

A recent exhibition by the New Tretyakov Gallery combined works by artists who were not shown or who were banned during the Soviet era with images from Andrei Tarkovsky’s films and sets. Tarkovsky’s films, such as Solaris and Stalker, have an international cult following and were known for breaking the bounds of what could usually […]

Dodge Assistantships for Research on Unofficial Art of the USSR

The Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University offers Dodge Graduate Assistantships to doctoral candidates admitted to the Department of Art History who are committed to research on unofficial art of the former Soviet Union. Established in 2002 with a generous endowment from the Avenir Foundation in honor of Norton T. and Nancy Dodge, this assistantship […]

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