№3 2006 (12)

150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TRETYAKOV GALLERY

Yekaterina Khokhlova
The Descendants: Destinies and Memory

One of the most significant events during the recent celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the Tretyakov Gallery was the arrival in Moscow of Pavel Tretyakov's descendants living in the United States. Thanks to the efforts of the gallery's employees and officials, who had found the Ziloti family and made their visit to Russia possible, for the first time in history the gallery became a meeting place for those who belong to the once numerous family that used to reside in the Tretyakov house in Tolmachi.

150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TRETYAKOV GALLERY

Natalya Alexandrova
Gifts for the Next 150 Years

The anniversary of the Tretyakov Gallery was accompanied not only by exhibitions and gala celebrations but also by numerous presents from public and state organizations, as well as from individuals and artists which supplemented the museum’s collection with fine works of Russian art.

150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE TRETYAKOV GALLERY

Marina Elzesser
Anniversary Chronicle

In May 2006 the Tretyakov Gallery celebrated the 150th anniversary of its foundation. It is no accident that the history of the museum is regarded as having started in 1856 when Pavel Tretyakov first began to buy paintings by Russian artists, and not 1881 when the gallery was opened to the public, or 1892 when the Tretyakov brothers’ collections were given to the city of Moscow. The reality is that, before starting his collection, Pavel Tretyakov had conceived it not as a private collection appealing to his personal taste but as an “artistic museum”, a “… public repository of fine arts accessible to everyone, a source of use for many, a pleasure for all”. That is why Tretyakov himself – and after his death, the gallery’s Board of Trustees – confidently marked 1856 as the beginning of the first Russian national fine arts museum.

MUSEUMS OF RUSSIA

Maya Mitkevich
The Legacy of the Russian North

The traditional culture of the North is rich and varied in its manifestations, and local museums hold numerous major works of northern art. These priceless monuments go back centuries and without them any study of the evolution of the material and spiritual culture of the Russian North would not be possible. It is no wonder that they continue to arouse interest. The Arkhangelsk Fine Arts Museum has always focused on researching the local culture, a factor due largely to the history and location of the museum.

MUSEUMS OF RUSSIA

Tatiana Koltsova
Icons of the Solovetsky Monastery

The Solovetsky Monastery collection of icons is one of the largest in the Russian North. Today the icon-painting legacy of the monastery is dispersed between several museum collections of the country, including Moscow’s Historical Museum, Tretyakov Gallery, the “Moscow Kremlin” Historical and Cultural Complex, St. Petersburg’s Russian Museum, and the Kolomenskoe Museum Reserve, the Museum of History of Religion, the Regional Museum of the Arkhangelsk Region, the Solovetsky Museum Reserve and the Arkhangelsk Fine Arts Museum. The literature on the subject of the Solovetsky iconpainting legacy is considerable indeed, including catalogues, monographs and articles. Icons from the museums of the Arkhangelsk region, however, have never really been researched and very rarely displayed. Thus, the public has little knowledge of them.

MUSEUMS OF RUSSIA

Tamara Shubina
The Gorki Estate and Its Collection

One of the oldest estates in the environs of Moscow, Gorki is first mentioned in a 16th-century source. The estate’s history is long and varied, comprising periods of flourishing growth as well as decline and stagnation. Some years saw the erection of new and beautiful buildings and the appearance of leafy parks, whilst others witnessed the house falling into disrepair, weeds smothering the lawns and the grounds being sold off to holiday-makers. Originally the Spasitelev family estate, Gorki later boasted a whole string of wealthy owners from families such as the Naumovs, Beloselskys, Buturlins, Beketovs, Durasovs and Lopukhins.

MASTERPIECES OF RUSSIAN ART

Eleonora Paston
“A Duty to My People...”

In June 1898 an important event occurred at the Tretyakov Gallery, already then donated by Pavel Tretyakov to the city of Moscow. Pavel Mikhailovich acquired for the gallery the paintings by Viktor Vasnetsov, "Warrior Knights" (1898) and "Tsar Ivan the Terrible" (1897). At the same time Tretyakov had the pictures on display re-arranged: the exhibition rooms were closed until early November and Vasnetsov received the opportunity to make new amendments to his recent pieces. "In the ‘Warrior Knights’ everything that needed touching up was touched up," the artist wrote to Tretyakov on October 5 1898, "for the better, I believe." Amazingly, this was said after the artist had been working on the painting for 30 years.

EXCLUSIVE PUBLICATIONS

Alex Klevitsky
“...Elegy for Yakovlev”

Boris Grigoriev's letter from my collection, published here for the first time, was written just two weeks after Alexander Yakovlev's death. The letter was addressed to Vladimir Bashkirov, a collector and arts patron who knew both artists well. Full of grief for the loss of a friend and a great artist, the letter sheds an additional light on the events described by the American collector and art scholar Martin Birnbaum in his book “Jacovleff and Other Artists”: “Several days later ... what was left from his once gorgeous body destroyed by a malignant tumour was decaying under a cover of scarlet peonies in the Russian church full of incense and chanting, as well as the subdued weeping of many of his friends. His last wish – to have his ashes scattered over the emerald-green waters of his beloved Capri – could not be fulfilled ...”

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS

Elena Mikhailova
Treasures of the Green Vault

The unique exhibition titled “The Treasury Cabinet of August the Strong. From the Green Vault Collection, Dresden” (running from May 18 to August 2) that has opened in the Kremlin is one of the most significant events in the cultural life of Moscow.

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS

Alexander Sizif
Modern Russian Giants at the Hermitage

With every new event, the Hermitage’s approach to modern art exhibitions becomes clearer. We are already accustomed to seeing the work of cult Western European and American artists in this world-famous museum: a renowned centre of knowledge and research in the art world, the Hermitage pays regular tribute to the acclaimed masters of modernity. Visitors to the Hermitage have been able to enjoy Picasso’s late works, masterpieces of German expressionist art and excellent paintings by the likes of Andy Warhol, the Cobra group, George Segal and Cy Twombly.

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS

Anna Ilyina
Faithful to His Subject: Far Away Yet Close

The creative achievement of any good artist, no matter if he is officially praised and publicly known or not, is his unique contribution to the history of art. Among painters, sculptors and masters of graphic arts who are viewed as representing the generation of the 1960s Vitaly Natanovich Petrov-Kamchatsky has his own, honourable, niche.

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS

Sergei Orlov
Weight and Weightlessness – Physical Categories

Weight and weightlessness are physical – and also philosophical – categories. All the heaviest and lightest things have their pronounced philosophy. Weights and a road roller are the Caesar and Augustus of the “Empire of Weight”. Allied to it is the “Empire of Imponderability”, the heroes of which are paper aeroplanes and boats, champagne bubbles and fluff from poplars flying into your face.

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS

Andrei Gamlitsky
“Art of the 20th Century. The View from Vienna”

From June 8 until July 2 2006, works from the collection of Monsignor Otto Mauer were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art on Petrovka Street in Moscow. The exhibition was organized by the Culture Committee of the Moscow Government under the auspices of the Austrian Embassy, within the programme of “Vienna Days in Moscow”. The exhibition’s concept, idea and organization by Art and Business Culture Management. Curators Milena Wildenauer and Dr. Eva Stangl-Teimer.

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS

Yekaterina Selezneva
A Vernissage at Spaso House

During this 150th anniversary year, the halls of the Treyakov Gallery have presented many brilliant special exhibitions. There has also been great demand abroad for exhibitions and works on loan from the Tretyakov collection. Shows in Paris, Madrid, and New York have been tremendously successful, and Bonn and Phoenix are among the cities which will host future exhibitions.

POINTS OF VIEW

Savva Yamshchikov
Tribute to the Album

The immediate impression of any viewer seeing the album "The Icon Collection in the Tretyakov Gallery" is to feel the impulse to exclaim "splendid!" Published to mark the 150th anniversary of the treasurehouse of Russian art by the ScanRus publishing house and financed by the member of the Board of Trustees of the Tretyakov Gallery Vitaly Machitski this unique publication brings to mind the lines of Pushkin: "The muses at work eschew ado, The beautiful must be majestic." Modern publishing devoted to the popularization of the history of international art is amazingly diverse, and the book market has a wide variety of publications to offer. Regrettably, it should be noted that the quality of art books and albums published today very rarely matches their quantity. Re-issues of popular Western album series, translated into Russian, make our bookstores look like their London or Paris counterparts. This is good because now every person who is more or less interested in the history of architecture, painting and sculpture can find as much information as he or she needs about the subject concerned and can acquire the books for any private library. However, coming across a real gem, the one that makes the buyer of a new publication feel the joy of discovery and appreciate the book's lasting value - alas, this does not happen often.

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