One way to describe the “Tretyakov Gallery Magazine”, to properly convey a sense of the range and scope of its interests, might be to call it a “concise encyclopaedia of art”: that applies both to its coverage of Russian art, intended for Russian and foreign readers equally, and of international art in Russia.
Functioning at the same time as an almost academic journal and as a publication aimed towards the general reader, the “Tretyakov Gallery Magazine" gives its pages over to leading Russian and foreign museums, art critics and historians, as well as collectors, gallery owners and curators.
Oil on canvas. 110 × 132 cm. Tretyakov Gallery. Detail
Over the 15 years of its existence, the magazine has published articles written by 87 authors from within the Tretyakov Gallery itself, as well as by staff members of the Russian Museum, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Fine Arts of Tatarstan, the Moscow Kremlin Museums, the Historical Museum, the Museum of Oriental Art, the Alexander Pushkin Museum, and the All-Russia Museum of Decorative, Applied and Folk Art. Contributions have also come from some 120 Russian authors associated with the Russian Academy of Arts, as well as representatives of other leading museums in Russia (including many in the regions), the CIS, and abroad.
The magazine’s readers, as well as numerous visitors to the Tretyakov Gallery, have expressed particular appreciation of the monographic issues that have been associated with major anniversary exhibitions: such events have included the 150th anniversaries of the births of Valentin Serov, Alexander Golovin and Isaac Levitan; the 160th anniversary of the birth of Ivan Pokhitonov; the 175th anniversary of the birth of Arkhip Kuindzhi; and the bicententary of the birth of Ivan Aivazovsky, which was marked by a special double issue. The art historian Olga Kostina has aptly described this direction of the magazine’s activities: “The ‘Tretyakov Gallery Magazine’ editors’ practice of publishing special issues dedicated to the works of major artists in conjunction with their anniversary exhibitions at the Tretyakov Gallery is interesting, useful for ‘serious’ study and, I would say further, innovative. The principle of ‘multi-dimensionality’ in the magazine as a publishing medium as such, combined with the opportunity to take a ‘fragmentary’ approach inherent to the article as a journalistic genre, opens avenues to create a multi-faceted perspective on the character of the artist. The way in which an issue of a periodical publication, with a collection of articles, can create the effect of a ‘world in a grain of sand’, to use the words of William Blake, has been successfully and fruitfully explored by the TGM editors.”
Other monographic supplements to the magazine have included publications on: “The Sokolov Family: The 19th Century in Faces”, 2018; “Alexei Shchusev’s Kazan Railway Station: The Unfulfilled Vision of ‘Mir Isskustva’ (World of Art)”, 2017; and “Meetings with Valentin Serov: Ilya Silberstein’s Correspondence with Irina and Felix Yusupov and with Henrietta Girshman”, 2015.
The magazine does not merely inform its readers about classical and contemporary Russian art: articles about leading world museums and eminent figures in international art, as well as important events in the global art scene, can be found in almost every issue. Particular attention has been paid to international projects involving Russian museums and major Russian artists. From the very first issue of the magazine in 2003, there has been a clear tendency to cover international events in the fields of culture and the fine arts, as well as the lives and works of artists of Russian origin who worked, or are working abroad.
Articles commissioned from art critics and historians, and exhibition curators have been translated into Russian from the English, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish and Chinese languages. The eagerness of such foreign writers to have their work published in the “Tretyakov Gallery Magazine" - as a means of reaching a Russianspeaking audience, a matter that is of great importance to them - is particularly noteworthy: as a result, some 100 articles by 79 foreign authors have appeared over the 15 years of the magazine's existence. That is the basis for the successful implementation of the project “On the Crossroads of Cultures" by the co-founder and publisher of the “Tretyakov Gallery Magazine", the “GRANY Foundation". As part of the project, eight special issues of the magazine have been published dedicated to the history and contemporary condition of artistic relations between Russia and the USA (two issues), Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Spain, Great Britain and China.
CHINA - RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Greeting of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Russian Federation, Li Hui.
“At present, relations between China and Russia are going through the best period in their entire history, and this undoubtedly affects our cooperation in the field of culture. This special issue of the ‘Tretyakov Gallery Magazine', ‘China - Russia: On the Crossroads of Cultures', published in Russian, Chinese and English, is a clear confirmation of this. It is hard to imagine a Chinese tourist arriving in Moscow and not visiting the Tretyakov Gallery. Tourists from China now have the opportunity to purchase a magazine bearing the name of the main national museum of Russia and to become acquainted with its history and collection in their native language. I am sure that both the Russian and foreign readership of the magazine will also find in the pages of this special issue a great deal of interesting information on the ancient and yet always young art of China, and on the main museums of the Celestial Empire. “In connection with the publication of this special issue ‘China - Russia', the role of the general sponsor of the ‘Tretyakov Gallery Magazine', the widely known and well- respected businessman and philanthropist, Mr. Vitaly Machitski, cannot be overemphasized."
UNITED KINGDOM - RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Greeting of Dr. Laurie Bristow CMG, the ambassador of the United Kingdom to the Russian Federation.
“Both the UK and Russia have widely spoken languages and rich literary traditions. We share a deeply held respect for each other's culture and literature. Because of this, I am delighted that the UK has an opportunity to build on the success of the UK-Russia Year of Culture 2014 in the form of the UK-Russia Year of Language and Literature and this unprecedented loan between the National Portrait Gallery and the Tretyakov Gallery."
SPAIN - RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Greeting of Jose Ignacio Carbajal, the ambassador of Spain to the Russian Federation.
“Exhibitions, except for their catalogues, are by nature ephemeral; they come and go, as do words, unless recorded or printed. The ‘Tretyakov Gallery Magazine' has the value of permanence, and since its inception it has become a collector's item. I am convinced that the issue you now hold in your hands is destined to be a work of reference for those who take an interest in the Fine Arts, for many years to come."
NORWAY - RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Greeting of Knut Hauge, the ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to the Russian Federation.
“It is a great pleasure for me to present this special issue of the ‘Tretyakov Gallery Magazine', ‘Norway - Russia: On the Crossroads of Cultures', which is dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the birth of Edvard Munch, the most famous Norwegian artist...
I am pleased that Munch is being featured so prominently in this special issue of the ‘Tretyakov Gallery Magazine' in his anniversary year. I hope that the articles presented here will spur the Russian public's interest in Munch's life and work."
ITALY - RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Greeting of Antonio Zanardi Landi, the ambassador of Italy to the Russian Federation.
“It is my great honour to present to the public this bilingual special issue of the ‘Tretyakov Gallery Magazine', which is dedicated to Italian art and published during the Year of Italian Language and Culture in Russia."
SWITZERLAND - RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Greeting of Pierre Helg, the ambassador of Switzerland to the Russian Federation.
“The ‘Swiss' issue of the magazine with the very Russian name ‘Tretyakov Gallery' opens with an article about Meret Oppenheim. This makes me believe that the looked-for ‘point of convergence' lies in the hearts of Russian art aficionados. I am greatly honoured by the opportunity to welcome them here on the pages of the ‘Tretyakov Gallery Magazine'."
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Greeting of John Beyrle, the ambassador of the United States of America to the Russian Federation.
“I am very happy to introduce a special issue of the ‘Tretyakov Gallery Magazine' to both Russian and American audiences. The American Embassy in Moscow enthusiastically supported the initiative, which aims to acquaint the general public with American art and the legacy of prominent American artists, many of whom have Russian roots. I am confident that the publication of this special issue of the ‘Tretyakov Gallery Magazine' is a step towards the strengthening of cultural ties between the people of Russia and the United States of America."
The magazine's contributors have included leading art critics and historians from the United States of America (18), the United Kingdom (12), Norway (8), Germany (7), Switzerland (6), France (6), Spain (4), Italy (3), Latvia (3), China (2), Israel (2), as well as Armenia, Belarus, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Kazakhstan, and Lithuania.
August 2014 saw the beginning of a “new era" for the magazine's website, with the launching of its pages on Facebook and VKontakte, which has led to a dramatic increase in visitors to the website (up to 2,000 per day) and page views.
All information concerning contributions by any writer can be found on the magazine's website by visiting the page “Our Authors" (https://www.tretyakovgallerymagazine.com/magazine/our-authors). Over the course of 15 years, 359 art writers, historians and critics have had their work published in the magazine, of whom 280 have been Russian and 79 foreign. Click on the name of a specific author, and a list of all his or her articles, with a link to the corresponding issue of the magazine, appears.
The magazine possesses a unique database in the form of its image bank, currently comprising some 8,400 illustrations, including photographs: all these images have been uploaded to the website, and the database can be searched on both the Russian and English pages by art form, artist and genre.
It is worth noting the most promising - from the point of view of the magazine's editors - growth areas for increasing the volume of website traffic. Our task is to draw the attention of Slavic scholars and art historians throughout the world to the magazine and its publications, as well as Russian-language students and students on courses in Slavic studies with an interest in Russian culture. At the same time, the “Tretyakov Gallery Magazine" is also an invaluable source of information for art-lovers and specialists who do not speak Russian. In order to ensure the highest degree of factual accuracy as well as the literary quality of content, translation of the magazine's articles into English is performed by an international team of translators including English-language native speakers with a deep knowledge of Russia and Russian culture (such work is coordinated by the APriori translation company). Particular attention is paid to the editing of the English version of the website (editor Natella Voiskounski, editor and literary stylist Tom Birchenough).
In light of all the above, we can proudly make the claim that, thanks to its publication of content translated from Russian into English and vice versa, the “Tretyakov Gallery Magazine" occupies a unique position among periodicals devoted to Russian and international art: this is true both for periodicals published within the Russian Federation, and those published abroad.
Subscriptions to the magazine are held by the libraries of many major Russian and foreign museums, including: in the USA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum, the Ukrainian Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York; in Washington, the National Gallery, the Library of Congress, the National Portrait Gallery, the Hillwood Estate Museum & Gardens, and the American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation (ARCCF); in the United Kingdom, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and the British Museum; the Musée d’Orsay, the Académie des Beaux-Arts and the Centre Pompidou in France; the Uffizi Gallery, the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze, the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, and the Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense in Italy; in Germany, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Russian House in Dresden, and the Russian House of Science and Culture in Berlin; and, in Switzerland, the Zentrum Paul Klee Bern, the Museum of Fine Arts Bern, and the Kunsthaus Zürich.
The magazine website is in the Top 10 of the search result for the keyword "artists’ catalog”: No. 3 in Yandex, and No. 5 in Google.