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.
Maria Mileeva, University College London, Research and Teaching Fellow
Jane Sharp, Rutgers University
ANN: Maya Semina Travel Grant
A generous donation made in the name of Maya Semina will help defray travel costs for one graduate student presenting a paper at the CAA Annual Conference and the ASEEES Annual Convention. The grant will be given for five consecutive years, alternating between the CAA conferences and the ASEEES conventions, beginning with the upcoming CAA conference on February 15-18, 2017 in New York City. The alternating order of the subsequent grants will be as follows: ASEEES 2018, CAA 2019, ASEEES 2020, CAA 2021. The funds for the grant have been received for 2017 and 2018, and the funds have been promised for 2019-2021. Maya Semina is a Russian art historian, whose book about Filipp Maliavin was published by Moscow’s BooksMArt Press in 2014. Applications will be evaluated based on the academic merit of the paper topic and financial need. We are especially committed to subsidizing a graduate student who is attending the conference for the first time or who has no local institutional resources for travel support.
GRANT AMOUNT: Up to $1000 USD
All applicants must be:
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;
Presenting a paper contributing to advancement in this field at a panel at a CAA Annual Conference (chairs, discussants, and any other type of participants are not eligible to apply) or ASEEES Annual Convention;
A member of SHERA at the time of application;
Live outside the conference city;
- Have not been recipients of this grant in the past.
DEADLINE: January 1, 2017 (Notifications will be sent by January 15, 2017)
All applicants must email the following to to SHERA.firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Complete application form (this has been sent to all SHERA members), which includes contact information, the e-mail address of the recommender; paper title, abstract, tentative budget, and statement of need;
• Two-page CV, listening relevant grants, publications, and talks;
• One (1) letter of reference from advisor or department chair, which includes confirmation that departmental and/or institutional conference travel funds are insufficient, sent by the recommender to SHERA.email@example.com.
We urge applicants to be practical in estimating their travel and lodging budget. We advise sharing a room with another graduate student at the conference hotel, if feasible. We ask the grantee mention the SHERA Maya Semina Travel Grant as a partial sponsor of their participation.
The grant will be disbursed upon presentation of receipts in the weeks following the conference.
SHERA’s Board is pleased to announce that John Bowlt has received this year’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies from ASEEES, the Association for Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies. His recognition testifies to the increasing importance of the study of art and visual culture within the larger field of Slavic Studies. We congratulate Professor Bowlt on his remarkable achievement, and thank him for his foundational work in our field.
Below is the official citation from ASEEES:
2016 Distinguished Contributions Award Recipient John Bowlt
The 2016 Distinguished Contributions to Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Award, which honors senior scholars who have helped to build and develop the field through scholarship, training, and service to the profession, is presented to John E. Bowlt, Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures and Director of the Institute of Modern Russian Culture at the University of Southern California.
The contributions of John E. Bowlt to the study of Russian visual culture of the 20th century are exceptionally deep and multi-faceted. Starting from the late 1960s, when much of the material he has spent his career studying was taboo in the USSR, Professor Bowlt has worked sedulously to uncover, make available, and analyze the oeuvres of once almost forgotten (and now world-renowned) artists such as Kazimir Malevich, Pavel Filonov, Liubov Popova, and Varvara Stepanova as well as a host of lesser lights. He has curated exhibitions, translated and published collections of documents, written monographs, and given countless public lectures that have brought the seminal contributions of Russian modernist art and artists to the attention of specialists in the fields of art history and Russian culture as well as a broad general public. Indeed, it would be fair to say that without the efforts of Professor Bowlt, Russian avant-garde art would not have anywhere near the level of international recognition that it now possesses.
Professor Bowlt’s first book, The Russian Avant-Garde: Theory and Criticism 1902-1934, was published in 1976. In the forty years since, he has followed that foundational anthology with a steady stream of monographs, book chapters, exhibition catalogues, and translations. Among his most influential contributions are Pavel Filonov: A Hero and His Fate: Writings on Revolution and Art 1914-1940 (1984, with Nicoletta Misler); Moscow and St. Petersburg 1900-1920; Art, Life and Culture of the Russian Silver Age (2008), the latter written for a non-specialist audience. He was also the editor of the Art and Architecture section for the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Russia and the Former Soviet Union (1994). Perhaps even more influential have been the exhibitions he has curated (and their accompanying catalogues) including the path-breaking “Amazons of the Russian Avant-Garde” (with Matthew Drutt and Zelfira Tregulova, for the Guggenheim) and “A Feast of Wonders. Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes” (for the Nouveau Musée de Monte Carlo and the Tretiakov Gallery). All of Professor Bowlt’s publications are based on scrupulous and painstaking archival work. However, unlike many scholars who make a career in the archives, Professor Bowlt has the ability in his lectures and publications to transcend the myriad facts he has uncovered and create compelling visual and narrative presentations that enthrall and inspire both scholars and the general public.
Professor Bowlt has been a faculty member at both the University of Texas and the University of Southern California and in 2015 was elected Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge University. Professor Bowlt willingly engages in collaborative projects and his publications and exhibitions are often co-curated with younger scholars and scholars from Russia. One of Professor Bowlt’s innovative collaborative projects is the Institute of Modern Russian Culture and its journal Experiment, which has made available a broad range of primary documents on a wide range of topics drawn from 19th and 20th century Russian culture and cultural history.
For his tireless work in creating and promoting the field of Russian modernist visual culture, John Bowlt has been selected as the recipient of the 2016 ASEEES Distinguished Contributions to Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Award.
2016 Cohen-Tucker Dissertation Research Fellowship Recipients
ASEEES is delighted to announce the 2016 Stephen F. Cohen-Robert C. Tucker Dissertation Research Fellowship recipients.
The Cohen-Tucker Fellowship Program is sponsored by the KAT Charitable Foundation, which we thank for its generous support.
Susan Grunewald Carnegie Mellon University
Erin Hutchinson Harvard University
Dakota Irvin UNC Chapel Hill
Kelsey Norris University of Pennsylvania
John Romero Arizona State University
John Seitz Iowa State University
You can read the announcement with their dissertation titles and brief descriptions at: www.aseees.org/news-events/aseees-news-feed/aseees-announces-2016-cohen-tucker-dissertation-fellowship-recipients Congratulations to the six Cohen-Tucker Fellows!
2016 Tucker/Cohen Dissertation Prize Nomination Extended Deadline, June 15
The deadline for the 2016 Tucker/Cohen Dissertation Prize nominations has been extended to June 15. The Tucker/Cohen Dissertation Prize recognizes an outstanding English-language doctoral dissertation in Soviet or Post-Soviet politics and history in the tradition practiced by Robert C. Tucker and Stephen F. Cohen. The dissertation must be defended at an American or Canadian university, and must be completed during the 2015 calendar year. The prize carries a $5,000 award, intended to help the author turn the dissertation into a publishable manuscript. For more information see www.aseees.org/programs/aseees-prizes/robert-c-tuckerstephen-f-cohen-dissertation-prize
2016 Annual Convention Travel Grants
The deadlines for travel grants to the 2016 Annual Convention in Washington, DC, are approaching quickly: www.aseees.org/convention/grants
Extended Registration Deadline for 2016 ASEEES-MAG Summer Convention in Lviv, Ukraine
The registration deadline for the ASEEES-MAG Summer Convention has been extended to May 25: www.aseees.org/summer-convention/registration
You can view the preliminary convention program at: www.aseees.org/summer-convention/2016-program