News

  • EXH: Erosion: Works by Leonard Ursachi

    EXH: Erosion: Works by Leonard Ursachi

    Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection at Hebrew Home at Riverdale is pleased to announce its latest exhibition, Erosion: Works by Leonard Ursachi on view from July 15–November 18, 2018. In this exhibition featuring an outdoor sculpture, installation work, and related maquettes and drawings, Leonard Ursachi addresses themes of environmental and social crises caused by manmade events and reflects on how the destruction of natural resources is intimately interconnected with the effacement of human history and culture. What a Wonderful World (2018), a large-scale sculpture installed in Hebrew Home’s sculpture garden overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades, touches on the inextricable link between profitability and the destruction of the environment. Expanses of 23-karat gold leaf applied to the roughly textured, “tarred” oceans reference a global, often wealth-driven disregard for the impact of environmental choices. The continents, on the other hand, appear vast and devoid of life, signifying a stripping away of natural resources. Still, Ursachi’s vision implies hope: the sculpture’s egg shape may be read as the enduring, if fragile, potential for life.

    Also included in the exhibition is Rise and Shine (2010), a multi-media work that addresses the disappearance of the Romanian island of Ada Kaleh, which was submerged in the Danube River in 1970 by Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu in order to build a hydroelectric plant. Inside an aquarium-like receptacle, a model of the island cast from translucent urethane resin is lit from below, alternately drowned and resuscitated as water continuously rises and falls. The work addresses the disastrous effect such industrial projects have on human culture, displacing entire populations and literally washing away layers of history. The piece engages environmental themes and reflects the unchecked destruction that can occur under tyranny. Ceaușescu’s rule was one of the most brutal in the Eastern Bloc, with his secret police force routinely torturing and imprisoning suspected dissenters and political enemies. Ursachi was arrested for attempting to escape Romania by swimming across the Danube—near the spot where Ada Kaleh once stood—to reach Yugoslavia in 1978. His second attempt to defect, in 1980, was successful, and he was granted political asylum in France where he spent five years. He came to the United States via Canada and settled in New York in 1987.

  • OPP: SHERA Travel Grant Announcement

    Society of Historians of Eastern European, Eurasian and Russian Art and Architecture invites applications for a SHERA Travel Grant to the upcoming ASEEES 50th Annual Convention, Boston MA, December 6-9, 2018.

    GRANT AMOUNT: $1000 USD for travel from North America and $1,500 for travel from overseas (another continent)

    ELIGIBILITY:
    All applicants must be:

    1. A student working at either the master’s or doctoral level with a thesis or dissertation topic related to Eastern European, Eurasian and/or Russian art and/or Architecture;
    2. Presenting a paper at a panel at this year’s ASEEES Conference (chairs, discussants, and any other type of participants are not eligible to apply)
    3. A member of SHERA at the time of application;
    4. Live outside the conference city;
    5. Have not been recipients of this grant in the past.

    DEADLINE: August 15, 2018
    Notifications will be sent by September 15, 2018

    APPLICATIONS must be emailed to:
    SHERA Art and Architecture
    as well as Karen Kettering

    • Complete with contact information, paper title, and abstract,
    • Brief CV, listing relevant grants, publications, and talks.

    GRANT DISBURSEMENT:
    The grant will be disbursed at SHERA’s Business Meeting at the ASEEES conference by Vice President/President Elect Karen Kettering.

    Sincerely,
    SHERA Board

  • CFP: Eclecticism at the Edges: Medieval Art and Architecture at the Crossroads of the Latin, Greek, and Slavic Cultural Spheres (c.1300-c.1550)

    CFP: Eclecticism at the Edges: Medieval Art and Architecture at the Crossroads of the Latin, Greek, and Slavic Cultural Spheres (c.1300-c.1550)

    Date: April 5-6, 2019 Location: Princeton University

    Organizers: Alice Isabella Sullivan, Ph.D. (University of Michigan) Maria Alessia Rossi, Ph.D. (The Index of Medieval Art, Princeton University)

    Description: In response to the global turn in art history, this two-day symposium explores the temporal and geographic parameters of the study of medieval art, seeking to challenge the ways we think about the artistic production of Eastern Europe. Serbia, Bulgaria, and the Romanian principalities of Wallachia, Moldavia, and Transylvania, among other centers, took on prominent roles in the transmission and appropriation of western medieval, byzantine, and Slavic artistic traditions, as well as the continuation of the cultural legacy of Byzantium in the later centuries of the empire, and especially in the decades after the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

    This symposium will be the first such initiative to explore, discuss, and focus on the art, architecture, and visual culture of regions of the Balkans and the Carpathians (c.1300-c.1550). We aim to raise issues of cultural contact, transmission, and appropriation of western medieval, byzantine, and Slavic artistic and cultural traditions in eastern European centers, and consider how this heritage was deployed to shape notions of identity and visual rhetoric in these regions from the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries. This event will offer a comparative and multi-disciplinary framework, ranging from art history to archeology and from material culture to architectural history.

    We aim to create a platform where scholars at various stages of their careers can discuss their research and engage in dialogue regarding the specificities but also the shared cultural heritage of these regions of Eastern Europe that developed eclectic visual vocabularies and formed a cultural landscape beyond medieval, byzantine, and modern borders.

    Papers could address topics that include, but are not limited to:  How cross-cultural contact facilitated the transfer, appropriation, and transmission of ideas and artistic traditions across geographical and temporal boundaries in Eastern Europe (c.1300-c.1550)  Artistic and iconographic developments as expressions of particular social, political, and ecclesiastical circumstances and dialogues in the Balkans and the Carpathians  The intentions and consequences of diplomatic missions and dynastic marriages in the visual agenda of eastern European centers  Workshop practices and traveling artists beyond medieval political and religious borders  Patronage and new constructs of identity before and after 1453

    Interested scholars should submit a paper title, a 500-word abstract, and a CV by August 15, 2018 to the organizers at: eclecticism.symposium@gmail.com

    Funds will be available to defray the cost of travel and accommodations for participants whose papers are accepted in the Symposium. So far, this event is supported in part by the International Center of Medieval Art (www.medievalart.org), the Society of Historians of East European, Eurasian, and Russian Art and Architecture (www.shera-art.org), as well as The Index of Medieval Art at Princeton University.

  • EXH: First U.S. Museum Retrospective of Soviet Nonconformist Artist Leonid Lamm

    EXH: First U.S. Museum Retrospective of Soviet Nonconformist Artist Leonid Lamm

    New Brunswick, NJ – With such rapid advances in digital tools, we sometimes find ourselves lamenting about artists who were ahead of their time, guessing what Leonardo could have done with a jet engine or Warhol, with Instagram. Regarding Soviet nonconformist artist Leonid Lamm (1928–2017), however, we do not have to wonder. With a career spanning 70 years, technology caught up to his artistic vision and he became one of the most surprising and versatile artists in the history of Soviet nonconformist and contemporary Russian-American art. Nevermore: Leonid Lamm, Selected Works, on view through September 30 at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers, examines his prolific career, which was stimulated by a lifelong inquiry into the multidimensional energy of space. More than 60 works on view represent three key periods: his early decades in the Soviet Union, the period following his move to the United States in the 1980s, and his incorporation of digital formats in more recent years. Free, public events that spotlight the exhibition include an evening reception on March 9 and Art After Hours: First Tuesdays on June 5. Details are available at www.zimmerlimuseum.rutgers.edu.

  • SHERA panel for CAA 2019

    Dear SHERA Members,

    Panel proposals for a SHERA sponsored panel for the 2019 CAA Annual Conference in New York, February 13-16, are invited.

    We encourage submission of proposals discussing issues of art or art history in any of the fields SHERA as a Society covers. The organizer of the panel must be a CAA member (membership number must be provided) as well as member of SHERA.

    Please submit your panel proposal to shera.artarchitecture@gmail.com by April 15, 2018. While SHERA’s Board will select the panel to be submitted on our Society’s behalf to CAA, be reminded that the ultimate decision of acceptance is CAA’s.

  • SHERA-Sponsored Panel at ASEEES 2018 and runners-up

    Dear Colleagues,

    The SHERA Board is pleased to announce the SHERA-sponsored panel to be held at the meeting of ASEEES in Boston from December 6-10 as well as two runners-up. While ASEEES does not have a mechanism for noting runners-up in the convention’s online or printed schedules, we would like to recognize particularly interesting panels as well as alerting the membership to their colleagues’ current and ongoing research. Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit a panel.

    Final confirmation of acceptance of panels will not be announced until June 1. After that time, SHERA’s board members will pull together a list of all panels potentially of interest to the membership. Members are all invited to announce their panels, together with dates and times, on H-SHERA after acceptance notifications are sent out in early May.

    The panel selected for 2018 is:

    The Passion for Collecting: Collectors and Their Collections in Imperial Russia (1800-1917)

    The panel is devoted to the history of private collections in the long nineteenth century in imperial Russia. It discusses collections, collectors and their collecting practices in order to explore collectors’ purposes and intellectual pursuits, the exhibiting and popularization of collected objects, art and artifacts, and debates triggered by collections’ display.

    Chair: Kyeann Sayer, PhD Candidate (University of Hawai’i at Manoa)

    Laura Schlosberg, PhD (Stanford University), “Zinaida Volkonskaia’s Allée de Souvenirs at the Villa Wolkonsky in Rome”

    The paper examines Volkonskaia’s Allée de Souvenirs as a historical and autobiographical creation, a collection with both personal and educational purposes. While Diego Angeli identified the Allée as an expression of Volkonskaia’s nostalgia, the Allée presents a historical narrative, one in conversation with its Roman setting connecting Russia to European civilization.

    Hanna Chuchvaha, PhD (Independent scholar), “Craftswomen and Stitches: Print Collections of Female Crafts in Late Imperial Russia (1860-1917)”

    The paper analyzes the specific female collectors’ focus on objects associated with women, their pastimes, domesticity and femininity understood as an expression of both self and group identity. The paper explores the printed albums of female crafts collected and published by Sofia Davydova, Olena Pchilka, Princess S. N. Shakhovskaia, Natalia Shabel’skaia’s daughters, and Ebba Salwen.

    Isabel Stokholm, PhD Candidate (University of Cambridge), “‘Having glimpsed the light, one does not wish for darkness’: Reform and Rehang in the Tretyakov Gallery, 1913-1917”

    The paper explores four years of upheaval and change in the Tretyakov, bookended by the publication of its first scholarly catalogue in 1917. It examines how Russia’s artistic community engaged with the gallery when it was still finding its feet in the transition from private to national, following the death of Pavel Tretyakov fourteen years prior.

    Discussant: Alla Myzelev, PhD (SUNY, Geneseo)

    As noted above, we hope that all those attending the 2018 meeting will note the two submitted panels selected as runners-up:

    Culture’s Industry, Industry’s Culture: Negotiation of Art, Craft and Industry through the Soviet Mid-Century
    Christianna Bonin, Presenter and Chair, PhD Candidate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Olivia Crough, Presenter, PhD Candidate, Harvard University
    Suheyla Takesh, Presenter, SMArchS Candidate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Dr. Maria Mileeva, Discussant, Teaching Fellow, University College London

    Perhaps more than any other topos, the industrial factory has shaped conceptions of Soviet art in historical and contemporary imaginations. Its salience is evident in the divergent ways that artists, critics, and political officials debated and performed the effects of industrial mass production on art-making across the Soviet mid-century: from the 1920s, when the production line became the key to training “engineerartists” and socializing art by removing it from allegedly backward handcraft and bourgeois studio practices; to the 1960s, when a growing number of historians and preservationists viewed industrialization as a threat to traditional cultures and craft skills. Questioning culture’s changing relationship to labor and industry, this panel examines the effects of the industrial factory as both a real and imagined site on artists and their work. Our case studies focus on artists from or practicing across Central Asia, Russia, and the Middle East because their work critically reveals the extent of Soviet cultural and industrial hegemony, as well as shifts in the utility of local practice to industry before and after World War II. In each of our case studies, we consider the circulation and commoditization of objects and practical knowledge into market goods, collectibles and tourism industries. Countering the belief that modern industry eliminates craft or tradition, this panel reveals how these concepts operate in tandem in the Soviet context.

    The first paper considers Varvara Stepanova’s role in the state publishing industry, as a woman designer and art director, parsing how publications such as 10 years of Soviet Uzbekistan (1934) produces relations between Central Asian culture, craft, and the cotton industry in the 1930s. The second paper analyzes a hybrid form of painting made by a young generation of Kazakh artists in 1960s Almaty. Aware that the introduction of industrial labor and a system of fine art education had deskilled or eliminated certain forms of Kazakh carpet-making, this group combined older carpet-making techniques with the primitivist aesthetics of Western artists in their paintings in order to perform their modernity internationally, while also appealing to state-led craft revival programs. The third paper examines the work of Iraqi artist Mahmoud Sabri, who studied in Moscow in the 1960s under socialist realist painter Aleksandr Deineka” and utilized the aesthetic and craft technique of Orthodox icon painting in works attending to the trauma of Communists’ repression in Iraq.

    Exhibiting Artistic Change: Social and Aesthetic Dimensions of Art Exhibitions in Imperial Russia

    This panel aims to explore the changing role, function, and format of art exhibitions in Imperial Russia. Advocating an interdisciplinary approach, the panel will address both the aesthetic and the social aspects of art exhibitions. The aesthetic aspect will include examination of the manner in which the state, academies, voluntary societies, art groups and individual artists represent their aesthetic agenda through the exhibition medium; the extent to which the exhibition can be instrumental in constructing and promoting national identity; and the ways in which art exhibitions affected the development of the art historical narratives. The social aspect will explore both the political and commercial dimensions of the exhibition practice: to which extent did art exhibitions contribute to the expansion of the public art scene in Russia? What was the role of the art market, state (censorship), voluntary societies, artists, critics and viewers in this process? How did the art exhibition as a marketing tool change over time and what were the social and artistic implications?

    Chair: Aglaya Glebova, UC Irvine

    Margaret Samu, The New School, Parsons School of Design, Art Exhibitions at Auctions and Estate Sales in St. Petersburg 1750–1850
    Where could St. Petersburgers see and learn about works of art in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries? Most scholarly literature about this period dwells on the absence of art on public view in the capital, relieved only by the triennial exhibitions at the Imperial Academy of Arts. Recent research, however, shows that exhibitions held before auctions and estate sales served as important venues for members of the literate classes to develop their knowledge of art and hone their connoisseurial skills. Because these exhibitions did not charge admission, nor require viewers to make purchases, they allowed non-elite classes the same opportunity to view art as the nobility who bought works for their collections. Drawing on newspaper announcements, sale inventories, and other primary sources, this paper will examine the role of these exhibitions in the development of taste and visual literacy in St. Petersburg before the mid-nineteenth century.

    Nikita Balagurov, Higher School of Economics Saint Petersburg, Inventing the Russian School of Art at the 1882 All-Russian Exhibition
    Abstract. In Moscow in 1882, the state-sponsored All-Russian Exhibition for the first time showcased achievements in the arts, along with those in heavy and light industries. Celebrating Tsar Alexander II’s reign, this Art Section, entitled “Twenty-Five Years of Russian Art”, became the first comprehensive survey of contemporary Russian art. By reconstructing the ideological, social and aesthetic aspects of the section, this paper scrutinizes this earliest attempt to formulate a narrative of a Russian “national school of art,” which was then further developed by the critic Vladimir Stasov in his influential essay by the same title (1882–1883) and in the founding of the Russian Museum of Alexander III in Saint Petersburg in 1898.

    Andrey Shabanov, European University at St Petersburg, The End of the “Salons” in Russia and Western Europe
    Abstract. The most defining professional emancipation of Russian artists in the late nineteenth century occurred with the privatization of art exhibitions — from an exhibition ruled by the Academy or other state-sponsored institutions, to one that was independently run. This change was realized by the Peredvizhniki (known in English as the Wanderers or Itinerants), which consisted of Moscow and St Petersburg artists who organized touring art exhibitions. The present paper will explore this major shift in exhibiting practices in Russia and its broader aesthetic and social implications. It will also examine how these changes related to similar late nineteenth-century institutional developments in Western Europe.

    Discussants:
    Maria Mileeva, University College London, Research and Teaching Fellow
    Jane Sharp, Rutgers University

  • EXH: Hot Art in a Cold War - Exhibition and Programming

    EXH: Hot Art in a Cold War - Exhibition and Programming

    Hot Art in a Cold War: Intersections of Art and Science in the Soviet Era
    January 27, 2018 - May 20, 2018
    Opening on January 27, 2018, the Bruce Museum’s provocative new exhibition Hot Art in a Cold War: Intersections of Art and Science in the Soviet Era examines one of the dominant concerns of Soviet unofficial artists—and citizens everywhere—during the Cold War: the consequences of innovation in science, technology, mathematics, communications, and design. Juxtaposing art made in opposition to state-sanctioned Socialist Realism with artifacts from the Soviet nuclear and space programs, Hot Art in a Cold War touches upon the triumphs and tragedies unleashed as humankind gained the power to both leave the Earth and to destroy it.

    Produced from the 1960s to the 1980s, the works on view address themes of international significance during a turbulent period marked by the ever-escalating competition for nuclear supremacy and the space race. Creative interpretations of these key historical events and their repercussions are presented here through nearly 40 works by 17 artists from the former Soviet republics of Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine, and Russia.

  • The Art and Science of Museums

    The Art and Science of Museums

    The program “The Art and Science of Museums” is hosted by the Hermitage Educational Center in St. Petersburg, Russia.

    Program Dates: June 17 - July 7, 2018 Application Deadline: March 1, 2018 Cost: $3,995 Includes: Tuition, dormitory accommodation, insurance, Russian visa, airport transfers, transcript of studies.

    Russia’s rich cultural heritage is complimented by a unique emphasis that Russians place on history and education. This has helped Russia produce one of the world’s most extensive museum systems, one well-known not only for impressive collections but also thematic versatility, multiplicity of display modes, and sheer number of institutions. With private and public support, many of Russia’s museums are being modernized and new museums are being established. Russians have also supported this as some of the world’s most avid museum enthusiasts.

    The Art and Science of Museums seeks to understand the Russian museum phenomenon and covers wide subject matter. Topics include: the history of collecting, the “museumification” of historic and cultural sites, museum operations (e.g. storage facilities, restoration labs, exhibition curation, education, and development), integration of technology and interactivity, and museum educational work.

    The Art and Science of Museums is for students looking to understand how cultural and historical heritage can be best preserved and transmitted. Over an intensive three weeks in beautiful St. Petersburg, Russia, we will take a behind-the-scenes look at the Hermitage Museum, and explore a plethora of others including educational museums at schools of higher learning, scientific museums, museums of ethnography, memorial apartment museums, literary museums, political history museums, and more.

    For more information and how to apply, please visit: http://www.sras.org/study_art_museums_russia

  • SHERA December 2017 Election Results

    We are pleased to announce the results of the December 2017 SHERA elections and warmly welcome the following individuals to the SHERA Board. Congratulations! We look forward to working with you.

    Members-at-large (2 year term)

    Hanna Chuchvaha Nic Iljine Natalia Kolodzei Andrey Shabanov

    Secretary-Treasurer (2 year term)

    Alice Isabella Sullivan

    Web News Editor (1 year term)

    Corina L. Apostol

    Thank you to the SHERA dues-paying members who voted.

    Sincerely, SHERA Officers

    Eva Forgacs, President Karen Kettering, Vice-President/President-Elect Ksenia Nouril, Secretary-Treasurer Yelena Kalinsky, Listserv Administrator Corina L. Apostol, Web News Editor Anna P. Sokolina, SHERA-SAH Liaison

  • OPP: CEC ArtsLink, St. Petersburg, Russia

    April 1 - December 31, 2018

    The ArtsLink Back Apartment Residency program provides opportunities for international artists and curators to conduct research, create new work, collaborate with the local arts community, and create special projects in St. Petersburg, Russia. Each month residency is individually designed to enable visiting artists and curators to learn about the Russian arts community, develop their own work, and share information about their work and other cultures with local audiences.

    The ArtsLink Back Apartment invites artists and curators interested in learning about contemporary art in Russia and building relationships with the local arts community. Though preference is given to artists and curators working in the fields of socially engaged art and public art, artists working in other fields are also welcome to apply.

    CEC ArtsLink currently funds residencies by artists and curators from the United States. CEC ArtsLink will provide international travel, visa support (if needed), accommodation, and per diem. Artists from other countries are welcome to apply, but will need to seek financial support to cover their expenses. CEC ArtsLink will provide lodging at the residency space.

    Interested artists and curators can apply by completing the on-line application form. Applications will be available online from October 23 and accepted until December 15, 2017 (for residencies between April 1 and December 31, 2018, the residency is closed in August).

    Duration of the Residency for artists is 1 month, and for curators is 7-10 days. Back Apartment Residency Awards will be announced by February 1, 2018.

    For more information, please contact Liza Matveeva, Residency Coordinator at mailto:lmatveeva@cecartslink.org and check our website: http://www.cecartslink.org

    The CEC ArtsLink Back Apartment Residency program is funded by the Kettering Family Philanthropies and Trust for Mutual Understanding