“The Work of Shaping Life”. Moscow State Stroganov Academy of Design and Applied Arts: 195th Anniversary
In 1901, artistic communities in Moscow and all over Russia celebrated the 75th anniversary of the foundation of the Stroganov School of Drawing. A year earlier, at the Paris World Fair, the school had been awarded two Grand Prix for the advancement of applied-arts education and silver and bronze medals for projects and products, as well as for “the ornamentation of public buildings and dwellings”. The Stroganov School was also awarded “Imperial” status in 1901.
The historian A.F. Hartwig, who taught at both Moscow University and the Stroganov School of Drawing, was the author of a seminal work which drew on unique documents to describe landmark events in the creation and evolution of the school. In a tribute to the school's founder, the renowned philanthropist Count Stroganov, Hartwig emphasised the importance of Stroganov's vision for the development of art education: “Every major undertaking of national and social significance demands, as the ultimate guarantee of its proper administration, that all the participants not only have a clear understanding of its conditions, but are imbued with a deep feeling of unity that connects generations with a common sense of responsibility before their contemporaries and their country's history. Our current reality, the conditions of our life and work, can hardly be considered the result of our actions; it is actually of history's making, as indeed are we. As we start on our path in life, we discover a system of established relationships; having determined where to apply ourselves, we continue the work that began long before us and which will not end with us - the work of shaping life."
Prince Sergei Stroganov. 1820s
Portrait, etching. Illustration from a jubilee edition: A.Hartwig. 75th anniversary of the Stroganov School.
There were several key turning points in the history of the Stroganov School. Naturally, the first one was October 31, 1825, when the School of Drawing for Decorative and Applied Arts was founded and began work at the house of Prince Sergei Saltykov (13, Myasnitskaya Street in Moscow), where, for the first five years of its existence, it occupied a single hall.
The house of Prince Sergei Saltykov in Myasnitskaya Street in Moscow, where the School of Drawing for Decorative
and Applied Arts of Count Sergei Stroganov was opened on 31 October, 1825
Photograph, late 19th century
Stroganov's vision has continued to be relevant after almost two centuries: “to give artisans and merchants the opportunity to improve their goods with the help of science and art." Having put drawing at the forefront of decorative and applied-arts education, Stroganov, in effect, consolidated the “project" approach to creating works of decorative art. Sketches and technical drawings became the first, the foundational and often the key stage in creating furniture, decorative metalware, interior decorations and ornamental patterns for textiles.
In 1842, records showed that, of the 76 students who graduated from the Stroganov School in the period 1836-1842, 32 worked for cotton printing mills, six were employed at porcelain factories and the rest went on to teach drawing.
In 1843, the Stroganov School was renamed the second School of Drawing under the auspices of the Finance Ministry. The focus was on training draughtsmen for fabric weaving and printing, as well as decorative pattern designers for a variety of applied arts. The school's achievements in the decades before and after is demonstrated by the many awards and prizes won by its students' works, which were exhibited at trade shows throughout the Russian Empire. Among these garlands were numerous awards and prizes for wallpaper design (Warsaw, 1845) and decorative painting (1853 trade show in Moscow).
The integration of the first and second schools of drawing and the creation of the Stroganov Museum also became a pivotal moment in the school's evolution; moving into its permanent home on Rozhdestvenka Street, after a number of relocations, was another important factor that contributed to the school's growing prestige.
The building of the Imperial Stroganov School in Rozhdestvenka Street, now the Moscow Institute of Architecture (State Academy).
The building was reconstructed in 1890-1892 from the clinics of the State Moscow University
under the direction of Sergei Solovyev.
Photo postcard, 1910s
The Stroganov School trained textile designers, ceramic and metalware artists, draughtsmen and interior decorators. It also organised exhibitions that presented different genres and kinds of applied arts (including exhibitions of the students' best works, applied arts and an international poster show) and often took part in international trade shows.
Among the guests at the opening of the new building on Rozhdestvenka was Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, a dedicated patron of the Stroganov School's students, graduates and teachers. Whenever the name Elizabeth Feodorovna is mentioned, we think of her monastic vows, her boundless charity and the tragic twists in our country's history. Until very recently, the details of her involvement as the patron of the Imperial Stroganov School of Drawing were virtually unknown; today, we have an opportunity to learn about them from contemporary Moscow newspapers, specifically from such publications as “Moskovsky Listok’’ (Moscow Paper) and “Novosti Dnya’’ (Daily News), as well as some previously unavailable archival materials.
Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fedorovna Romanova, patron of the Imperial Stroganov School
and founder of the Marfo-Mariinsky Convent in Moscow 1903. Photograph
Grand Duchess Elizabeth enjoyed icon and wall painting, embroidered altar cloths and veils and painted decorative porcelain. Her penchant for art, her genuine interest in crafts and her enthusiasm for the ancient Russian tradition of icon painting made the Grand Duchess a good friend of the school. She first visited the school in 1897, soon after Nicholas II's coronation. It is a well- known fact that the Stroganov School of Drawing made a name for itself while taking part in the preparations for the coronation festivities in Moscow by making use of its historicist artistic traditions to create decorative art in the so-called Russian Revival style, a well-known version of which originated in our school's workshops.
In 1901, Grand Duchess Elizabeth became the official patron of the Central Stroganov School and Society for the Welfare of Underprivileged Students. This important event coincided with the school's 75th anniversary and the Grand Duke and Duchess attended the celebration. A telegram from the son of Count Stroganov to the Grand Duchess was read out at the celebration, in which he expressed confidence that the school would prosper under her patronage. Her answer was a perfect expression of her character: “It is with joy that I become the patron of the school your father founded, and it will truly be my pleasure to do everything I can to ensure its continued success."
The Stroganov School organised regular exhibitions featuring the works of outstanding artists, including those who taught there. While Grand Duchess Elizabeth was our school's patron, many of the country's best artists were among its educators: Art Nouveau masters Fyodor Schechtel and Lev Kekushev; Alexei Shchusev, who famously designed the Convent of Saints Martha and Mary and the Kazansky Railway Station, both in Moscow; the sculptor Nikolai Andreev, the painters Mikhail Vrubel, Konstantin Korovin, Pavel Kuznetsov, Peter Utkin and many others. Vrubel's “Swan Princess" was first presented to the public at the school's exhibition hall on Myasnitskaya Street and the first exhibitions held by the “Society of Russian Artists" also took place there. Nonetheless, Grand Duchess Elizabeth was more interested in seeing the works of young artists, the school's students, whom she supported in every way possible, including by purchasing their works.
Grand Duchess Elizabeth fully realised how important it was to promote decorative arts production. Her contributions to the organisation of major artisanal, applied and decorative-arts exhibitions, both in Russia and abroad, were especially noteworthy; such trade shows took place in Turin in 1911, in Kiev in 1913, and in St. Petersburg in 1908.
It was the Grand Duchess's idea to engage both students and educators from the Stroganov School in decorating the Church of the Intercession at the Convent of Saints Martha and Mary, which she had founded. In 1907-1911, ceramic interior wall siding, parts of the iconostasis and metal and wooden decorations for the interior of the church were manufactured at the Stroganov School workshops; Grand Duchess Elizabeth was especially complimentary of the painting for the iconostasis by Nikifor Tamonkin, a Stroganov graduate.
Opening an icon-painting workshop at the Stroganov School was a highly important development in education - as a rule, icon painters learned their craft in monasteries, churches or local commercial workshops, without any professional education in the arts. In fact, the new icon-painting workshop could be seen as an educational reform that drew from the very source of our national heritage. It appears that Grand Duchess Elizabeth was one of the first to recognise the artistic value of Russia's ancient painting tradition. The style of icon painting that was developed at the Stroganov School workshop was based not only on the oldest examples of the art, going all the way back to the time before the Mongol invasion of Kievan Rus' in the 13th century, but also on the accomplishments of the medieval Russian icon painters of the 15th-17th centuries. Extant drawings and individual works of art, such as icons, entire iconostases, as well as wall paintings, are all testament to that. This workshop produced icons that were characteristically and manifestly decorative, designed with the use of ornamental metal, exquisite settings adorned with pearls and semi-precious stones, colourful enamels and embossed basma (a thin sheet metal used to cover and decorate icons). Thus, Zakhar Bykov, a Stroganov School graduate and its first director after the Second World War, remembered that, as a student, he worked on the precious-metal setting for the icon of Saint Nicholas commissioned by one of Russia's major jewellery houses. The fact that the school worked in collaboration with the best jewellery makers of Russia, including the houses of Ovchinnikov, Khlebnikov, Olovyanishnikov and Faberge, who were purveyors to the Imperial Court, is also probably due to mediation by Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna. Indeed, it was not by accident that even the school's students received such commissions - supporting them was a priority for Grand Duchess Elizabeth.
The fact that the Stroganov School opened its own icon-painting workshop could be seen as a real breakthrough in the evolution of our national system of art education and training - not a single other educational institution in the Russian Empire came close to studying and collecting Old Russian art as comprehensively as was the case here. Back in the second half of the 19th century, the Stroganov School's then director Viktor Butovsky paved the way for these developments by publishing “The Stroganov Icon Painter's Manual" (1869) and a history of Russian art by Eugene Emmanuel Viollet- le-Duc (1877), which “for the first time systematically established and solemnly proclaimed the independent nature of our art."
It would be fair to assume that the Grand Duchess’s expertise matched the love for Russian medieval art that was shared by many educators and students at the Stroganov School, to say nothing of its director Nikolai Globa (1859-1941), who was also close to the Imperial court. Old Russian architecture and wall painting were a passion of many architects who taught at the school; their ranks included Leonid Brailovsky, Stanislaw Noakowski and Fyodor Gornostayev. It is worth noting that the Stroganov School was the first institution to examine the issues of professional restoration of Old Russian architectural monuments and paintings; beginning in 1902, the school offered a course in art history, which always included lectures on Russian medieval art. It is well documented that Noakowski was one of the most admired professors - his lectures on Old Russian architecture and mural painting were incredibly popular. All Noakowski's students would later remember admiring his virtuoso drawing skills as he covered the blackboard with chalk renderings of old churches and terems (medieval Russian chambers or palaces). Another dedicated scholar of medieval Russian decorative and applied arts was Nikolai Sobolev, whose dissertation entitled “Decorative Textiles in Ancient Rus”’ was published in 1911. Sobolev also published his works in the Proceedings of the Imperial Moscow Archaeological Society Commission for the Preservation of Ancient Monuments. It is quite apparent that the Stroganov School created a system of teaching and scholarly research, as well as artistic expression, that was connected to ancient Russian cultural heritage, supported by their royal patron, and which was reflected in a major national artistic movement during the reign of Nicholas II.
It is remarkable that their study of medieval Russian art did not lead the Stroganov scholars and students to simply copy old artefacts; instead, they analysed and interpreted them with confidence, experimenting with techniques and a variety of artistic media. A good example is the “Christ Pantocrator’’ (“Christ in Majesty") icon, also called “Our Saviour with Golden Hair", which was created at the Imperial Stroganov School icon-painting workshop in the early 20th century. This icon is an oil painting on a zinc panel, with super-fine glazing that clearly imitates the age-old tempera plavi or numerous, thin layers of paint. Gold assists (gilding) are used to enhance the curls of Christ's hair and robes. This work by an unknown icon painter reveals both their refined knowledge of the Old Russian painting techniques and the bold use of non-traditional media and technical means.
It would be fair to compare Grand Duchess Elizabeth’s efforts to revitalise our national artistic tradition to the work of Princess Maria Tenisheva in Talashkino and Savva Mamontov in Abramtsevo. Indeed, it was not a coincidence that Stroganov School graduates often ended up working at these famous centres of cultural revival for long periods of time.
It is also worth mentioning that the style of the acclaimed architect Alexei Shchusev (whose work the Grand Duchess oversaw when he designed the Convent of Saints Martha and Mary) seemed to develop in step with the artistic innovations introduced at the Stroganov School. Shchusev often cooperated with the Stroganov artists; in all likelihood, his successful work on the Grand Duchess's commission helped him get other major contracts from the government that demanded expertise in the medieval Russian artistic tradition, such as the building of Kazansky Railway Station and the Russian pavilion at the Venice Biennale, which Shchusev designed in the style of a traditional Russian terem.
The construction of the Kuznetsov building to house its workshops was a great step forward for the Stroganov School and Grand Duchess Elizabeth was there to lay its foundation stone in 1913. To commemorate this seminal event, the students presented the Grand Duchess with an icon of Christ the Saviour, which was a special gift for her. The ceremony of laying the building's foundation stone was recorded in a contemporary newsreel. The Grand Duchess’s arrival at this ceremonial event was included in the issue of Pathe News #276-A.
The First World War began in 1914. At Grand Duchess Elizabeth’s suggestion, a hospital for wounded soldiers and a hospital of the Moscow Loan Society were opened at the school's workshops. The hardships of the war and of hospital life were captured in the unique drawings of the student Pyotr Galadzhgev (1900-1971), who would later gain fame as a film-set designer; his drawings on these subjects were printed in the handwritten students' magazine “Lel'" (1917-1918, Museum of the Stroganov Academy of Industrial and Applied Art).
After the revolution, there was a reform of education in 1918, which abolished all previously existing institutions that had been training art and arts-industry professionals. All art schools were now renamed Free State Art Workshops (SVOMAS - gosudarstvennye svo- bodnye khudozhestvennye masterskie), and all artistic movements were proclaimed equal. The first SVOMAS became an organisational base for the further development of the educational system. Here, the admission and registration of students were handled; here, classes in applied art, woodwork and metalwork, textile design, artistic pottery, stage design and printmaking continued to be taught as they had been before the revolution.
In keeping with the art-training reform, the first SVOMAS provided “training in the following disciplines: architecture, painting, sculpture, decorative painting, mosaic, and printing". There were three types of workshops: those where the directors were elected by students, those without directors and those with appointed directors…
The election of SVOMAS directors was held in October 1918 and, in December, the workshops were opened. The Stroganov School was named SVOMAS No. 1 and was officially classified as an institution of higher learning on March 13, 1919 by decree of the National Commissariat of Education (Narkompros).
The admissions process took place in the autumn. An important document from that era was the printed, poster-sized (54 by 35 cm) admissions announcement containing information from the Narkompros visual-arts department, such as teachers' names, types of workshops, fields of study and disciplines.
By 1918, when the post-revolutionary art-education reform started, the Stroganov School (“Stroganovka") was already a full-fledged work-study institution with its own elaborate curriculum.
It was not by accident that the admission paperwork for the nascent SVOMAS Nos. 1 and 2 (No. 2 being the former Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture) was handled at the former Stroganov School. Likewise, there was nothing accidental in the couplet composed by students, many of whom had studied at the Stroganov School, in which they addressed the school's new, Soviet, management: “Sovupka! Look both ways! Or Globa may well erase VKHUTEMAS from Stroganovka’’. Nikolai Globa was the Stroganov School's last director, an energetic and charismatic person who continued teaching even when he emigrated from post-revolutionary Russia, creating a new Stroganov School in Paris.
Researchers have largely ignored the two-year period during which the SVOMAS functioned all over Russia. Nevertheless, this is an important link in the development of the tradition of arts-industry training in Russia of the 19th - early 20th centuries.
Those in charge of art education at the Narkompros visual-arts department envisioned the SVOMAS training programme as being comprised of four parts. The first was a combination of general disciplines, together with painting and sculpture workshops. The teaching staff at these workshops was drawn from SVOMAS No.2, organised on the basis of the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. The second element of the educational programme was comprised of workshops focused on specific artforms: decorative art; stage design; graphics; painting on china, glass and enamel; textiles; decorative sculpture; metal sculpture; carving; architecture; and furniture. Judging by the areas of study and the advertised teachers, this component was based on the former Stroganov School, with its workshops and departments focused on textiles, ceramics and stage design, as well as furniture and graphics. Thirdly, there would be room for theoretical disciplines - art history, philosophy and anatomy drawing. These disciplines, as well as general composition workshops, were declared mandatory for all students. Other offerings in the humanities included the history of literature and poetry; rhythm and music; and the history of social theories.
The fourth component included special disciplines: the theory of shadows and descriptive geometry. The theatre directors Aleksander Tairov and Feodor Komis- sarzhevsky were to deliver lectures on the “technical aspects of stage productions"; “templates and models", it was expected, would become the responsibility of A.V. Prussov, a woodcarver and the author of a book featuring furniture designs, who graduated from the Stroganov School in the 1910s.
Among the teaching staff and heads of the general painting workshops were well-known masters such as Sergei Malyutin, Filipp Malyavin, Pavel Kuznetsov and Aleksander Kuprin, as well as Kazimir Malevich and Vladimir Tatlin. Aleksei Shchusev and Ivan Fomin were announced as heads of the architecture workshops; Igor Grabar and Stanislav Noakowski were to be lecturers in art history. Vladimir Mayakovsky and Anatoly Lunacharsky were also identified as potential lecturers.
In the announcement of the opening of SVOMAS, the list of teachers was compiled by a task group of students, and took the following form: Filipp Malyavin, Sergei Malyutin, Fyodor Fedorovsky (naturalism), Boris Grigoriev, Nikolai Ulianov (realism), Konstantin Korovin (Impressionism), Pavel Kuznetsov, Peter Konchalovsky, Aristarkh Lentulov (Neo-Impressionism), Aleksander Kuprin, Vasily Rozhdestvensky (Post-Impressionism), Vladimir Tatlin (Cubo-Futurism), Aleksei Morgunov, Kazimir Malevich (Suprematism). Vasily Kandinsky's name was missing from the list, but it may have been added later, towards the end of 1920. In his memoirs about VKHUTEMAS, Zakhar Bykov mentions in passing how a group of students was electing its leader at precisely this period14. After conversations with several artists, including Kandinsky, the group decided to organise a “workshop without a leader" - according to the workshops' rules of admission and training this was to be possible for another two years. Students were free to choose any course and there were no entrance exams - it was sufficient to simply sign up.
This actual situation in which art trends were equal and co-existed is captured on a photograph of a small student exhibition of SVOMAS No. 1, which, it seems, was held at the Narkompros office. On the wall, there is a poster that reads “NKP. Visual Arts Department. Free State Art Workshops No. 1" [NKP - Narkompros]; below, there are graphic works - compositions with revolutionary themes, prints and illustrations. On a table beneath, against the backdrop of a dark, sculpted relief featuring the workers' struggle, there is an expressive model of a figure carrying the globe on its shoulders and, on the right, there is a Cubist composition made of gypsum - also a monument, albeit an abstract one. On the tablecloth, there are pieces of propaganda china- ware (agitfarfor), designed by Mikhail Adamovich and Sergei Chekhonin and featuring revolutionary symbols. (These items are now at the Stroganov Academy Museum.) Realism, cubo-futurism, and propaganda art - all in the same room.
Kuznetsovsky Building of the Stroganov School. The house of the VKHUTEMASVKHUTEIN on Rozhdestvenka Street.
View of the building from the side of the Vkhutemas Marchi Gallery. In WWI,
the annexe of the Vkhutemas Gallery was turned into a hospital with a surgical theatre. 2010. Photograph
In the process of VKHUTEMAS's evolution towards maturity, this period of institutionalised equality between art trends - classic, innovative and experimental - was very important. It was during this short period that the foundations of the future concepts underpinning 20th-century architecture and design were laid, both at the level of compositional principles and expressive idioms and at the level of socio-cultural preferences and prevailing themes. This period saw not only the development of a vocabulary for the new architecture and compositional principles for high-rise buildings, but also the articulation of new social themes: house communes, street kiosks and buildings to house soviets of people's deputies, and so on. The period also saw the birth of utterly new institutions linked with art education: the Moscow Museum of Avant-garde Art (Moskovskiy muzey zhivopisnoy kul'tury - MZhK, 1918 1919-1923/1924) and the Moscow Institute of Artistic Culture (Moskovskiy institut khudozhestvennoi kul'tury - INKhUK, 1923-1926). These organisations were staffed by the very same artists, painters, architects and designers who had founded schools of architecture and design and developed the principles of new art training and analysis: Aleksander Vesnin, Lyubov Popova, Nadezhda Udaltsova, Aleksander Drevin and Aleksander Rodchenko. The past was by no means rejected or destroyed, contrary to claims made in later accounts of events. The collections of all provincial museums featured a full range of art trends and experimental approaches from the 19th to early 20th centuries: from the “Peredvizhniki" (Wanderers) to exponents of non-figurative art.
The era when the SVOMAS were up and running in Moscow, Petrograd and several other Russian regions was what might be called a hinge connecting the abstract art of the avant-garde on the one hand and design and architecture on the other. This is freedom of choice between art trends; this is freedom in art training.
Founded at the same time in Germany15, Bauhaus (1919-1933), informed the trajectories of education in the fields of art, architecture and design in 20th-century Europe. The documents and other materials relating to Russia's first post-revolutionary reform, however, demonstrate that, by 1918, the basics of the new art education were already formed, defining the further evoluti on of instruction in the areas of design, architecture and applied art at VKHUTEMAS-VKHUTEIN.
The 1920 reform solidified this approach and resulted in the institutionalisation of a new type of institution of higher learning, VKHUTEMAS-VKHUTEIN, which became the centre of artistic life in Soviet Russia in the 1920s. This period saw the crystallisation of stylistic idioms in all forms of representational art, as well as the production of innovative works in the areas of architecture, design, cinema, photography, stage design and graphics. The list featuring iconic names of Russian/ Soviet art and architecture is suggestive of its compilers' artistic priorities, as well as of the genres and forms of the new trends and types of artistic expression, including “industrial art" and Constructivism, which were precursors of modern design.
The professors from the faculty of architecture are representatives of the architecture of the 1920s: on the one hand, Ivan Zholtovsky and Aleksei Shchusev (neoClassicism) and, on the other, Aleksander Vesnin, Moisei Ginzburg, Nikolai Ladovsky and Konstantin Melnikov (Constructivism, Rationalism). At the faculty of woodwork and metalwork, El Lissitzky, Vladimir Tatlin and Aleksander Rodchenko created schools of design. At the textiles faculty, the professors who prominently contributed to the shaping-up of the basics of the craft were Aleksander Kuprin (composition), Ludmila Mayakovskaya (aerography workshop) and Varvara Stepanova (structural, geometrical and functional foundations of textile design). The ceramics faculty was headed by the artist, scholar and teacher Aleksei Filippov. The printing faculty was headed by the graphic artist Pavel Pavlinov; the faculty's creative leader was the graphic artist, muralist and scholar Vladimir Favorsky - in 1923-1926, he also served as the institution's director and created a unique school of book design and xylography. Nikolai Kupreyanov was also elaborating his concept of graphic art as he worked at the faculty.
The faculty of painting was the school's second most popular faculty, thanks to its stellar teaching staff: David Shterenberg, Feodor Fedorovsky, Aleksander Shevchenko, Robert Falk, Peter Konchalovsky and Aristarkh Lentulov.
The faculty of sculpture boasted names such as Sergei Volnukhin, Anna Golubkina, Sergei Konenkov and Vera Mukhina.
Other luminaries who contributed to the prestige of VKHUTEMAS included Pavel Kuznetsov, Lyubov Popova, Nadezhda Udaltsova, Aleksander Drevin, Peter Miturich, and Lev Bruni. Nor should we forget to mention its distinguished graduates, such as the Kukryniksy caricaturists, the painter Aleksander Deineka, the artist and actor Sergei Obraztsov and the cameraman and film director Sergei Urusevsky.
This year, the “Stroganovka" has two or even three special dates to celebrate. In addition to the 195th anniversary of the school, we also celebrate the centenary of the universal avant-garde art school of the new type - VKHUTEMAS-VKHUTEIN (1920-1930).
The third anniversary to celebrate this year is the school's re-creation in 1945, not long before the end of the Second World War.
The country's leadership understood that cities destroyed in the war years had to be rebuilt as soon as possible and that the country needed a new, grand architectural style that would immortalise in stone the triumph and the exalted spirit of creation that took hold of the people after the war. The creation of memorial ensembles, Metro stations, majestic public buildings, monuments and squares all called for great efforts from a host of applied artists, painters and sculptors, whom the postwar school would train.
In the run-up to celebrations of the 75th anniversary of victory in the Second World War, the Stroganov Academy opened an exhibition of artwork (in its own exhibition space) by its teachers and graduates which portrayed the war along with its suffering and glorious feats. These works are the product of more than a single generation, the legacy of artists who participated in or witnessed the war first-hand. The exhibition is an epic narration of the war and of victory through works by Sergei Gerasimov, Lev Kholmyansky, Fyodor Voloshko, Nikolai Kovalchuk, Zakhar Bykov, Vadim Sidur, Gely Korzhev, Aleksander Shcherbakov, Peter Redechkin, Igor Obrosov, Andrei Kovalchuk, Peter Kozorezenko and many others.
In line with the concept elaborated by the Academy's dean Sergei Kurasov, the exhibition is given documentary depth and background thanks to photographs captured by wartime photo correspondents and now displayed with the help of digital technology, selected from the archives of the Academy and a number of its teachers. As the exhibition, scheduled to open on May 9, was being put together, researchers going over documents of Zakhar Bykov found an unusual document: an order issued on February 23, 1945, by the committee for architecture under the auspices of the Soviet of People's Commissars of the USSR. The order was to do with the re-creation of the Stroganov School, and reads:
“In order to train highly skilled professionals to work in the arts industry and in the field of applied art, and to carry out exterior and interior decoration on new construction sites and for the projects of restoration of cities and artwork destroyed by the German invaders, the Soviet of People's Commissars of the USSR on February 5, 1945, issued Directive 256, ordering the reinstatement in July-December 1945 of the Moscow Central Arts Industry School (the former Stroganov School) in Moscow with its practical training workshops, placing the school under the authority of the committee for architecture under the auspices of the Soviet of People's Commissars of the USSR; and in the city of Leningrad - the Leningrad Arts Industry School (the former Stieglitz School), with its practical training workshops, placing the school under the authority of the board of architecture under the auspices of the Soviet of People's Commissars of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic".
The Arts Industry Board and Zakhar Bykov were entrusted with the implementation of the directive. The document also lists members of the task group responsible for developing the curricula. The team under Bykov's leadership was joined by Alexey Galaktionov - previously an employee of the agency in charge of educational establishments, he was an engineer artist trained by Rodchenko and, like Bykov, a graduate of VKHUTEMAS-VKHUTEIN.
Other members of the task group included architect Grigory Barkhin; Fyodor Fedorovsky, a stage designer who taught at the Stroganov School before the revolution as well as at VKHUTEMAS; the applied artist and graduate of the Stroganov School Pavel Pashkov; painter and member of the Academy of Fine Arts Sergei Gerasimov; Vladimir Yegorov, another Stroganov School graduate and a stage and film production designer who pioneered film production design in Russia; the architect Dmitry Sukhov; the sculptor Sergei Aleshin; the applied artist Nikolai Filippov, who graduated from the Stroganov School and VKHUTEMAS and worked for several years as the chief artist at the Soviet National Agricultural Exhibition [VSKhV]; Nikolai Prusakov, a stage designer, graphic and poster artist who studied at the Stroganov School and VKHUTEMAS; applied artist Sergei Markelov, a Stroganov School graduate who also taught there; and Nikolai Sobolev, the pioneer of a new trend in applied art research, Stroganov School graduate and teacher and a professor at the textiles faculty of VKHUTEMAS-VKHUTEIN. All the artists and teachers mentioned here joined the teaching staff when the Stroganov School was resurrected.
Each of the deans of the re-created Stroganov School made a unique contribution to the institution's development. During the term of office of designer and educator Zakhar Bykov, a system of arts-industry education was set in place not only in Moscow, but also across the entire USSR. Thanks to its status as a flagship school, a dissertation defence committee and a network of faculties and departments were established. Under architect Grigory Zakharov's leadership, a new building was designed and its construction started, and the faculty of interior design was set up. The academic and historian Aleksander Dubrovin strengthened the component of scholarship along with art history and criticism in the curriculum. The school also established a new, degree-awarding faculty of the theory and history of applied art and design and launched the publication of a scholarly and analytical journal “The Herald of the Stroganov Academy of Industrial and Applied Arts". The artist and designer Aleksander Stasyuk laid the foundations for the school's publishing and exhibition projects. Thanks to the efforts of the artist, designer and researcher Sergei Kurasov, the Stroganov Academy successfully accomplished its 2011-2015 programme of strategic development, creating a modern educational environment; it also gained international standing by participating in the Tempus and Erazmus programmes, as well as by taking part in international and national exhibition projects, competitions, shows and educational projects in cooperation with schools from Italy, Slovakia, China, South Korea and other countries. A system of continuous artistic and professional education is now in place, from schools for children - “Stroganov Traditions" and the “Children's Academy of Design" - through B.A. and M.A. programmes, to a PhD programme. In 2016-2019, the school established new programmes: partly full-time, partly distance-learning tracks in art appreciation and curatorship and master's programmes in multimedia and digital art.
The Stroganov Academy today keeps up its tradition of providing all-round art training. In 2019 two Red Dot awards, a prestigious design prize, were won by the school's staff: Dmitry Mordvintsev (associate professor at the department of communicative design) for his graphic-design projects, and Reyhaneh Nouri with her spouse Dmitry Nazarov (both from the transportation-design department), for their interior design of new second-class open-plan compartments for the Russian Railways Company. In Yekaterinburg, a new regional perinatal centre has been opened that features furniture and equipment designed by graduates of the furniture-design department as part of their graduation projects.
The academy continues to contribute greatly to the development of innovative design internationally. A case in point are the graduation projects at the transportation-design department. The Vespa Malaguti scooter (designed by L. Kayzer), on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, was one of the icons of 20th-century design. The department's graduates work as designers for the most prestigious brands of the leading car-making nations: Italy, France, and Germany. Our school prides itself on the regular participation of its students from the textile-design department in the biggest competition in the field such as Heimtextil (Frankfurt, 2019) where works of the prize-winner Maria Mamai were exhibited.
Pavel and Anastasiya CHERNISHEV. Design of Renault Diamond premium crossover
Diploma project of the Department of Transport Design. Supervisors Dmitry Nazarov and Antony Grade (on the customer side). 2014
The Stroganov Academy is a regular participant in the innovative exhibition projects organised by the Tretyakov Gallery and Russia's other art museums. An important component of the Academy's educational and creative activities is the conceptual design of exhibitions: for instance, the catalogue for the retrospective exhibition of Mikhail Larionov (2018-2019) was designed by “ABC Design" (directed by Dmitry Mordvintsev) and videos for the section “Theatre and Futuristic Books" were produced by graduating students of the communication-design department (chaired by Vladimir Muzychenko). Kristina Skvortsova's project (on which the Tretyakov Gallery's researcher Tatyana Goryacheva was consultant) featured a 3D model demonstrating the construction process of El Lissitzky's famous Prouns - “projects for the affirmation of the new".
The Russian pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, which introduced Grisha Bruskin's project Theatrum Orbis, was designed by Stroganov Academy graduate Alla Belousova. This case might be considered a “handshake" of generations as the pavilion was built by the professor of the Imperial Stroganov School, Aleksei Shchusev; in 1962, it featured Korzhev's composition “Raising the Banner", which was met with great enthusiasm and became an icon of 20th-century art: the painter's contemporaries saw in it a universal image of disobedience and struggle against injustice.
Russia's art schools began to hold exhibitions as early as the end of the 18th century. Curated exhibition projects are directly related to educational activity: the Stroganov Academy was one of Russia's first institutions of higher learning to participate in the IV, V and VI Moscow Biennales of Contemporary Art. The Academy used several venues, including in its own building, to showcase the work of both young artists and established masters, such as Yegor Koshelev, Roman Sakin, A. Sokolov, A. Diakov, Francisco Infante-Arana, Nonna Goryunova and many others. One of the most memorable projects was the show called “Fellow Students", devoted to the early period in the professional lives of Aleksander Volkov, Dmitry Prigov and Boris Orlov, who once studied together at the department of academic sculpture.
The Academy's participation in the biennales of contemporary art, in the form of independent, uniquely conceptualised curated projects, has demonstrated the “Stroganovka" phenomenon, which brought into existence a whole generation of contemporary artists, including Vadim Kosmachev, Francisco Infante-Arana and Nonna Goryunova, Vitaly Komar and Aleksander Melamid, Leonid Sokov, Konstantin Latyshev, Aleksander Kosolapov and many others.
Projects prepared and realised by the Stroganov Academy have become milestones of modern Russian art (the exhibition “Constructivist World. Dreams about Space. Aleksander Rodchenko and His Circle" in Norilsk; the Academy's Arctic project “Taymyr: Genius Loci" at the Russian Decorative Art Museum in Moscow; “Kino-Eye" (posters, photographs and prints devoted to avant-garde cinema) in Vladivostok, Sorrento, and Naples.
One of the most stunning shows to take place at our school was Vyacheslav Koleichuk's anniversary exhibition attended by the artist himself. Francisco Infante-Arana and Nonna Goryunova created the exhibition “Water Cycle", prepared specially for the Academy under the auspices of the V Biennale in 2013. It is also important to mention two large international projects being carried out in cooperation with our partners from the Venetian Universita Ca’ Foscari (curated by Silvia Burini, Giuseppe Barbieri, Aleksander Lavrentiev, Mat- teo Bertele, and Kirill Gavrilin): “Professor Rodchenko: Photographs from VKHUTEMAS" and “Francisco Infante, Nonna Goryunova: Artefacts" (Venice, 2012).
The Tretyakov Gallery regularly draws on the Academy's legacy, organising large-scale solo shows of renowned Russian artists: Fyodor Fedorovsky, Nikolai Andreyev, Vasily Vatagin, Gely Korzhev, Nikolai Nikogosian, Boris Orlov, Leonid Sokov, Dmitry Prigov, Natalia Turnova, Vadim Kosmachev and many others. These are projects which showcase the Stroganov School's contribution to the development of Russian culture.
The collaboration and close cooperation between the Russian Academy of Arts and the Stroganov Academy have deep historical roots. This relationship has always developed along three lines: education, mastering artistic skills and academic research. During the period of the Stroganov School's establishment and development in the 19th century, the Academy supported and influenced in a substantial way the formation of the teaching process, including the organisation of classes and teaching methodology. This is supported by the large collection of reference instructional drawings bearing the stamp of the Russian Imperial Academy of Arts, which were transferred to the School as manuels.
The Russian Academy of Arts and its president, Zurab Tsereteli, have always given a preeminent degree of consideration to one of Russia's oldest colleges of applied arts. One example of the fruitful cooperation between the two institutions is the department of Monumental-Decorative Art, which has given Russia exceptional masters, academicians and heads of department who have been responsible for creating the Stroganov School's one-of-a-kind signature style of monumental visual art. We are referring of course to the academicians Sergei Gerasimov (1885-1964), Gely Korzhev (1925-2012), Oleg Filatchev (1937-1997) and Igor Obrosov (1930-2010).
All this demonstrates convincingly that any school in academe or in art exists and evolves when teachers, students and graduates regularly contribute to international cultural activities, continuously experimenting while keeping alive their sense of history and involvement in the affairs of their alma mater.
- Hartwig, A. 75th Anniversary of the Stroganov School of Drawing. Moscow, 1901. P. VII.
- The Imperial Stroganov Central School of Decorative and Applied Arts. 1912-1913. [Catalogue] Moscow, 1913. P. 14.
- Hartwig, A. 75th Anniversary of the Stroganov School of Drawing. Moscow. 1901. P. 162.
- Aristova, S.L. Advanced Icon Painting Workshop at the Imperial Stroganov School of Technical Drawing (regarding the tradition of patronage in Russian icon painting)/Member of the Imperial Academy of Fine Art Nikolai Vassilievich Globa and the Stroganov School of Drawing. Moscow, Indrik Publishing. 2012. Pp. 317-328.
- Elisabeth’s husband Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich Romanov was the royal patron of the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, and Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna became patron of the Imperial Stroganov School of Technical Drawing, which was reflected on the school’s official letterhead. For a detailed account of the years the couple spent in Moscow, see “Sergey i Elizaveta” by D.B. Grishin. Moscow, Christian Library. 2017.
- Moskovsky Listok. 1901. Issue 83. P. 2.
- Statement of accounts by the Imperial Stroganov School of Design and Applied Arts under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna for 1910-1911. Moscow, 1912.
- Vikhareva, N.I. Birth of a new profession (Z.N. Bykov remembers.) People, events, facts. Moscow, Moscow State Stroganov Academy of Design and Applied Arts, 2006. P. 38.
- Butovsky, V.I. “Russian art and its assessment by the French architect E. Viollet-le-Duc and the Russian archaeologist F.I. Buslayev”. Moscow. 1879. Preface. P. II.
- 3rd Festival of private collections. Catalogue comp. by P.S. Ukhanov. Ministry of Culture, Russian Federation. All-Russian Decorative Art Museum. Moscow, Rudentsov Publishing. 2013. Pp. 36-63. Ill. 15.
- Archival newsreel. URL: http://kinochronik.wixsite.com/archive/1896-1917 (last accessed on April 5, 2018).
- Announcement about the opening of the Free State Art Workshops. A poster. Moscow, 1918
- Isayev, Pavel. “The Stroganov School 1825-1918: Biographical Dictionary”. Vol. 2. Moscow, Labirint. 2007. P. 282.
- Vikhareva, N.I. “The Birth of a New Profession”. Moscow, Stroganov Academy of Industrial and Applied Arts. 2006. P. 56.
- Bauhaus and Art Schools in the Avant-Garde Epoch: Materials of the International Academic Conference April 17-19, 2019. Moscow, Stroganov Academy. 2019.
- VKHUTEMAS (Higher Art and Technical Studios) were educational institutions founded after the 1917 revolution in Moscow, Petrograd, and other Russian cities. The Moscow VKHUTEMAS was founded by the unification of SVOMAS Nos. 1 and 2 (themselves formerly the Stroganov Academy and the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture respectively). In 1927, VKHUTEMAS was renamed the Higher Art and Technical Institute, or Moscow’s VKHUTEIN. In 1930, the Leningrad and Moscow VKHUTEIN were closed. The Moscow Vkhutein were replaced by the Moscow Architectural Institute (MArchl), the Moscow State Art Institute (named after Vasily Surikov in 1948) and the Moscow Polygraphic Institute (since 1949, the Moscow State University of Printing Arts), Instead of the Leningrad VKHUTEIN-LVKHTI (the Leningrad Higher Art and Technical Institute), the Institute of Proletarian Figurative Art (INPII) was formed, which was reformed as the Leningrad Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in 1932 (and in 1944 was named in honour of Ilya Repin).
- See Khan-Magomedov, S.O. “VKHUTEMAS”. Books 1 and 2. Moscow, Ladia. 1995. Adaskina, N.L. VKHUTEMAS-VKHUTEIN (entry). “Encyclopaedia of Russian Avant-garde. Visual Arts. Architecture”. Vol. III. History. Theory. Book 1. Moscow, Global Expert and Service Team. 2014. Pp. 102-111.
- Kukryniksy were a creative collective of Soviet artists and painters, which included full members of the USSR Academy of Arts (1947), People’s Artists of the USSR (1958), Heroes of Soviet Labour Mikhail Kupriyanov (1903-1991), Porfiry Krylov (1902-1990) and Nikolai Sokolov (1903-2000).
- 1945-1948 - Moscow Central School of Industrial and Applied Arts (the former Stroganov School) 1948-1992 - Moscow Higher School of Industrial and Applied Arts (the former Stroganov School) 1992-1996 - Moscow State Stroganov Institute of Industrial and Applied Arts 1996-2009 - Moscow State Stroganov University of Industrial and Applied Arts Since 2009 - Moscow State Stroganov Academy of Industrial and Applied Arts
- A student of the Stroganov School in the 1910s and one of its first graduates with a degree in design, one of the first “engineer artists” trained at the Rodchenko school at VKHUTEMAS-VKHUTEIN (1929), a teacher of the Moscow Central Arts Industry School (formerly the Stroganov School) from 1945, founder of the faculty of Artistic Design, and dean from 1955 to 1967.
- Directive of the committee for architecture under the auspices of the Soviet of People’s Commissars of the USSR, issued on February 23, 1945. A typed copy. Museum of the Stroganov Academy of Industrial and Applied Arts.
Artworks of the Professors and Alumni
of the Stroganov Academy
Spatial composition Mainz, Germany. Polished stainless steel
House of Culture, Shatura
Tinted paper, charcoal pencil, gouache
Tempera on hardboard, levkas, mixed media. 82 × 67 cm
© Tretyakov Gallery
Installed in the town of Offenburg, Germany. 1984. Aluminum
Industrial prototype and design project
Reconstructed by the Verbilki porcelain factory on commission of the Manege gallery. 1994. Full-scale model
Illustrated edition of the Stroganov School. Cover. 1900s
Design. Illustration from the album “Yearbook of the Stroganov School compositions”
Paper, graphite pencil
Photograph. In the 1920s, while in exile in Paris, he established the Russian Institute of Industrial and Applied Arts
Photograph.He taught composition at the Stroganov School together with the architects Dmitry Sukhov and Ivan Zholtovsky
Ink, watercolour, whitewash on paper
Majolica, glaze, reducing firing
Photograph by Boasson and Egler, St. Petersburg
Presented at the All-Russian Competition at the Imperial Stroganov Central School of Decorative and Applied Arts in Moscow, 1911. Published in the “Yearbook of the Moscow Architectural Society”, 1910-1911
This building housed many of the production faculties of VKHUTEMAS, including the Metalworking Department
Exercise in the discipline “Space” by Nikolai Ladovsky, VKHUTEMAS. Reconstruction. Environmental Design Department of the Moscow State Stroganov Academy of Design and Applied Arts. 2016
Cover. Student term project of the Printing Department of VKHUTEMAS. Supervisor Nikolai Kupreyanov. 1928
Model by Mikhail Oleshev and Vladimir Timofeev, students of the Woodworking Department of VKHUTEMAS for the International Exhibition of Decorative Art and Art Industry in Paris. 1925. Supervisors Anton Lavinsky and Sergey Chernyshevв
Vladimir Sotnikov’s student term project of the Department of Ceramics. Supervisor Vladimir Tatlin. 1930
An excersice in the discipline “Space” by Nikolai Ladovsky, VKHUTEMAS. Reconstruction. Environmental Design Department of Moscow State Stroganov Academy of Design and Applied Arts. 2016
Colour exercise in the course “Graphic design on a plane”
Exercise on the course “Graphic design on a plane”
Design of the cover of an advertising prospectus of the Russian volunteer shareholder company for the development of the air fleet
From left to right: P. Zhigunov, I. Morozov, V. Pavlov and Zakhar Bykov. A photograph by Alexander Rodchenko. 1924
Detail of the diploma project of captain’s cabin equipment on a refrigerator ship. Supervisor El Lissitzky. 1929
Diploma project of the VKHUTEIN Architecture Department. Supervisor Nikolai Ladovsky. 1928
Reconstructed by A. Berne, Environmental Design Department. 2013
As a result of the decision to bring education closer to industry, some of the specialties ceased to exist, and others were integrated into industryspecific technical universities. The Painting and Sculpture Departments were transferred to the Institute of Proletarian Fine Arts in Leningrad
Diploma projects of the Department of Industrial Design of the Moscow Higher School of Art and Industry (the former Stroganov School). 1960s
Detail of the diploma project. Supervisors Alexander Korotkevich, Anatoly Krylov and Lev Fedorovsky. 1976
Furniture Design Department. Supervisors Yevgeny Matvienko and Elena Cheburashkina. 2016
Diploma project of the Environmental Design Department. Supervisors Elena Zaeva-Burdonskaya and Elena Ruzova. 2018
Diploma project. Supervisors Professor L. Zolotukhin and V. Burov. 2014
Based on this draft proposal, the logo was finalised by the Commercial Art Studio