Author: Josh Wilson

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 […]

Russian Cultural Language and News: April, 2019

This month: Chekhov Festival of Modern Theater; Bolshoi Presents Shakespearean Passion This resource looks at culturally-informative Russian news broadcasts and presents each with rhetorical and contextual analysis as well as a brief vocabulary list aimed at intermediate-level Russian students.   Chekhov Festival of Modern Theater Selling Out Russia Channel reports that this year, the famous […]

Russian Cultural Language and News: March, 2019

This month: “A Rediscovery of Repin;” Russia to Create Regional Museum Complexes This resource looks at culturally-informative Russian news broadcasts and presents each with rhetorical and contextual analysis as well as a brief vocabulary list aimed at intermediate-level Russian students. “A Rediscovery of Repin” Russia Channel devoted an 8-minute report on its regular Sunday national […]

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 […]

What Moscow Could Have Been… The Palace of the Soviets

In 1931, the Communists began drawing up plans to tear down Christ the Savior Cathedral and, in its place, build the Palace of the Soviets. It would have been the world’s tallest structure (and would still be #9 today). It would have been topped with 6000 ton statue of Lenin and included, among other things, […]

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 […]

The Tragic and Triumphant History of the Girl with an Oar

The Girl with an Oar sculpture was re-introduced to Gorky Park in 2011. Originally installed in 1935, it was then a controversial piece of art, and endured criticism, a likely theft or vandalism, revision, and then destruction by Nazi bombs. Everyone associated with the statue died the year the statue was destroyed: 1941. The statue […]

4 Painters Enchanted by Winter

Winter is the most fairytale-like time of year. Everything around is covered with a sparkling white quilt; only purity and mystery remain. It is impossible not to fall in love with winter. AdMe.ru, a Russian site, has put together a list of four artists in Russia who capture the beauty of the season. This translation […]

Russian Painters For Dummies

In response to a wider trend of “Art History for Dummies” that has recently gone viral, the staff at AdMe.ru, a Russian website, recently created a short guide that will help you to distinguish Brullov from Surikov and Kandinsky from Malevich. Please note: this is not an art appreciation course but a simplified guide created […]

Understanding Moscow: Through Literature, History, and Film

A conversation on the popular listserve SEELANGS led to many experts volunteering some of their favorite works about the city of Moscow -including films, novels, histories, and academic studies. Below are the majority of the works mentioned. Poems Moscow in the Plague Year: Poems Evgenii Onegin: A Novel in Verse   Novels and Plays:   […]

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).  

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