On December 23, 2010 the Pavel Tretyakov Charitable Foundation held for the fifth time its traditional public function dedicated to the memory of the Tretyakov Gallery’s founder in the museum’s conference room.
The motto of the tribute event is a phrase Isaac Levitan addressed to Pavel Mikhailovich Tretyakov: “The desire of the soul and the obligation of a citizen”. The artist said it in a letter of May 18, 1894, formulating the essence of the long-standing philanthropic activities of the great patron of arts — the activities that were spiritually founded on the will Pavel Tretyakov made early in life. In this document, drawn up in Warsaw in 1860, the young merchant from Moscow set out his programme for the establishment of a museum of Russian art, to which he would donate all of his trade income, aspiring to serve the cause of education of the nation not only in word but also in deed.
150 years elapsed since then. During that time, the idea of an “art museum” evolved into the creation of a “Russian national public gallery” which, known all over the world as the Tretyakov Gallery, has been steadily expanding its collection. It has become a tradition at the memorial events dedicated to Tretyakov to publicly praise those who fruitfully work these days at the Gallery founded by Pavel Tretyakov and continue to popularize and promote the “Russian school”. For this reason, the functions devoted to Tretyakov’s memory traditionally end up with the ceremony of honouring the museum staff awarded the Pavel Tretyakov Prize.
We offer our most heart-felt congratulations to the awardees of 2010:
chief of the Tretyakov Gallery’s department of painting of the second half of the 19th century — early 20th century Galina Sergeevna Churak, who has worked at the museum for 51 years and, while remaining in office as a high-ranking executive, she was a curator for a great number of grand exhibitions and author of numerous exclusive publications;
deputy head of the Tretyakov Gallery’s cataloguing department Rosa Veniaminovna Mikunis, who has devoted 45 years to the service of the museum, much of this time spent carefully editing and compiling the general catalogue of the museum’s collection;
head of the Levitan Memorial Museum in Plyos Olga Victorovna Nasedkina — a cultured, savvy and exceedingly modest person who organized in her native town of Plyos several landmark events, including the annual festival dedicated to Levitan’s birthday. Such initiatives deserve to be honoured on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the outstanding master of landscape painting.