Northern Illinois University Press

Russian Art and the West

A Century of Dialogue in Painting, Architecture, and the Decorative Arts

Edited by Rosalind P. Blakesley and Susan E. Reid

"A richly textured account. This book would be valuable for its information and bibliographic aspects alone ... but its underlying purpose is more ambitious.”—Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas

"Written in accessible style by scholars of Russian and Soviet art, this book will find a broad readership among art historians, students, and those interested in Russian and Soviet cultural history, painting, architecture, and decorative arts."—The Russian Review

"A strong collection of historical scholarship. Essential reading for anyone interested in the still relatively small subfield of Anglophone Russian art history."—Canadian Journal of History

This book addresses the lively artistic dialogue that took place between Russia and the West—in particular with the United States, Britain, and France—from the 1860s to the Khrushchev Thaw. Offering stimulating new readings of cross-cultural exchange, it illuminates Russia’s compelling, and sometimes combative, relation with western art in this period of profound cultural transformation.

Russian Art and the West breaks new ground in the range of its material and its chronological span. Attending both to vanguard tendencies and to the official artistic institutions and practices of the tsarist and Soviet eras, it casts light on seminal developments little studied in western scholarship, while also providing new contexts for, and fresh insights into, the avant-garde of the early 20th century.

The book’s eleven essays by leading experts on Russian art and design explore painting, architecture, and the decorative arts, considering not only the objects but also the patrons, audiences, exhibitions, and critical readings that together shaped national culture in an international context. Written in an accessible style and encompassing a variety of approaches, they collectively rethink conventional polarities and influences, and unpack the myths of separateness and isolation so often associated with artistic endeavor in late imperial or Soviet Russia.

This illustrated volume will appeal to students, scholars, and general readers seeking to understand the fuller context of Russian artistic culture during a remarkable century of social and political change.

(2006) 256 pp., 32 illus.
ISBN: 978-0-87580-360-9
cloth $42.00

Rosalind P. Blakesley is Senior Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Cambridge, UK.
Susan E. Reid is Senior Lecturer in Russian Visual Arts at University of Sheffield, UK.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1. Rosalind P. Blakesley and Susan E. Reid
A Long Engagement: Russian Art and the "West"
2. Rosalind P. Blakesley
Promoting a Pan-European Art: Aleksei Bogoliubov as Artistic Mediator between East and West
3. Elizabeth K. Valkenier
Opening up to Europe: The Peredvizhniki and the Miriskusniki Respond to the West
4. Karen Kettering
Decoration and Disconnection: The Russkii stil' and Russian Decorative Arts at Nineteenth-Century American World's Fairs
5. Charlotte Douglas
The Art of Pure Design: The Move to Abstraction in Russian and English Art and Textiles
6. Jane Sharp
Beyond Orientalism: Russian and Soviet Modernism on the Periphery of Empire
7. John McCannon
Mother of the World: Eurasian Imagery and Conceptions of Feminine Divinity in the Works of Nikolai Roerich
8. Sona S. Hoisington
Soviet Schizophrenia and the American Skyscraper
9. Catherine Cooke (with Susan E. Reid)
Modernity and Realism: Architectural Relations in the Cold War
10. Alison Hilton
Holiday on the Kolkhoz: Socialist Realism's Dialogue with Impressionism
11. Susan E. Reid
Toward a New (Socialist) Realism: The Re-engagement with Western Modernism in the Khrushchev Thaw
Notes on Contributors

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-360-9
cloth $42.00