Author: Josh Wilson

Motherland Calls Receiving Major Restoration Work

Activists have long campaigned for a full restoration of Russia’s famous Motherland Calls sculpture in Volgograd. Made of reinforced concrete, the massive structure has long shown concerning signs of wear – ranging from being stained by pollution to visible cracks forming. The following report details the restoration work – including the techniques and process used […]

Russia Reunites Two Major Art Collections, May Found New Museum

Russia has reunited the great pre-revolutionary art collections of Ivan Morozov and Sergei Shchukin. The collections of both Tsarist-era businessmen were nationalized after the revolution, partially auctioned abroad and then split between museums in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Each exhibition has been reported as an inspirational event, as the righting of a historical wrong, and […]

Russia’s ‘Ticket Mafia’ and Other Challenges to Managing Russian Cultural Institutions

The “ticket mafia” has long been a problem in Russia. Scalpers buy tickets, often at deep discounts by employing the pensioners who qualify for them, and then sell the tickets at wildly inflated costs. This is not, however, the most interesting inefficiency in managing Russia’s cultural institutions. For instance, the story below details the Bolshoi’s […]

The State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg

The State Russian Museum holds the world’s largest collection of Russian art. The approximately 110,000 square feet of the museum’s primary exhibition space are structured to give the visitor a basic overview of how art has grown and developed specifically in Russia. Several auxiliary spaces are used to show everything from folk art to modern […]

The Hermitage State Museum

The Hermitage is synonymous with St. Petersburg. One of the city’s best-recognized landmarks, the museum lies directly in the city center, with the city center’s radial roads pointing towards it; even someone lost in St. Petersburg has a good chance of finding themselves at the doorstep of this world-renowned art collection. The Hermitage can be […]

5 Minutes in Russia

This footage was captured by SRAS Assistant Director Josh Wilson: “This was city day in Moscow, but the amount of foot traffic on the new pedestrian streets in the city center – and the amount of open art displayed – are actually fairly typical for a weekend evening in Russia’s capital these days. Note that […]

Post Soviet Theatre

How did the economic and political disarray that beset Russia in the days and years following Glasnost affect Russian cultural institutions? In Russia, theatre practitioners have long enjoyed a social position comparable to Hollywood actors or professional sports stars in America. By the mid-nineteenth century, amateur, provincial, and serf theaters had sprung up in even […]

Great Lost Soviet Art

One of the great lost artists of the Soviet Union features in a solo exhibition at Sotheby’s, London, this week. Javad MirJavadov’s colorful individuality made him an unwelcome guest among the grey, realist ranks of state-approved art while his passionate connection to the roots of his native Azerbaijan kept him in isolation from the non-conformist […]

Get Real: Why Socialist Realist Painting Deserves Another Look

But this moment lasted almost as long as the Soviet Union and for anybody who wants to explore this system it has to be carefully studied. Socialist realism was a traditionalist, representational from of art, famously “national in form, socialist in content” and concerned primarily with literature and only later with painting, sculpture and architecture. Although it […]

New Movie About Chagal and Malevich

Legendary director and screenwriter Alexander Mitta is back after a 10-year break from his craft. He has recently released a film about the at-times violent conflicts between the great Russian artists Marc Chagall and Kazimir Malevich in the early years of Soviet rule. A trailer is below with English subtitles (with brief nudity).  

Student Blog on Socialist Realist Art

Allie Bull studied Russian language and art over the summer of 2013 on a customized program with SRAS. As part of her studies, Allie has begun a blog “exploring what Socialist Realism is, how it emerged, major themes, and this art today.” She also discusses, in part, her studies abroad. See more about Allie’s work […]

New Online Collection of Natalia Gontcharova Paintings

A Stone Thrown is a small, privately held collection of assorted works by Russian artist Natalia Gontcharova (1881-1962) featuring unpublished paintings as well as artist’s preparatory and studio paintings. The goals of this website are to present the work in an open and unpretentious way, to encourage further debate and to contribute to continuing research into […]

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