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  • Conference: Stravinsky’s Fox: Folk, Myth & Ritual in the Russian Silver Age (Cambridge, UK; December 14, 2015)

    Conference: Stravinsky’s Fox: Folk, Myth & Ritual in the Russian Silver Age (Cambridge, UK; December 14, 2015)

    Monday 14 December 2015
    The Department of History of Art, University of Cambridge

    The centenary of the riotous first performance of Igor Stravinsky’s best known modernist work, Le Sacre du printemps (1913), has inspired numerous scholarly and public events in recent years. Less well known are the works Stravinsky wrote in Switzerland during the wartime years, which saw him developing his interest in themes drawn from Russian folklore. After the Pribautki of 1914, the one-act ‘burlesque in song and dance’ Renard, commissioned by the Princess de Polignac, was written between 1915 and 1916; this was followed by, among other works, The Cat’s Lullabies (1915), Three Children’s Tales (1917) and Four Russian Peasant Songs (1917).

    This interdisciplinary workshop explores ideas of folk, myth and ritual in early twentieth-century Russian culture. It comprises four papers situating Stravinsky’s work in the context of visual culture, music, fashion and dance, followed by a panel discussion. Papers seek to highlight synergies between modernist trends in these differing genres during the ‘Silver Age’, as well as the impact of Russian culture on the development of modernism in Western Europe around the time of the Great War.

    For a full programme and booking instructions, please visit

    This workshop is organised by the Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre and seeks to complement the Philharmonia Orchestra’s 2015-2016 season ‘Myths and Rituals’. For more information, see here.

    The event is enabled by a conference grant from the Department of History of Art, University of Cambridge.
    Convenors: Dr Rosalind Polly Blakesley: University of Cambridge; Dr Louise Hardiman: Independent Scholar

  • Lectures: Slade Lectures in Fine Art, 2015 (University of Cambridge; October 13 - December 1, 2015)

    Slade Lectures in Fine Art, 2015
    University of Cambridge, Mill Lane Lecture Rooms
    Tuesday 13th October - Tuesday, 1 December, 2015, at 5 p.m.

    Professor John E. Bowlt

    “Suddenly I forgot which comes first, 7 or 8”. Making Sense of the Russian Avant-Garde

    The dramatic experiments in Russian art of the early 20th century constitute a primary contribution to the history of Modernism. The twilight aura of Symbolism, the disruption of Cubo-Futurism and the extreme heat of Revolutionary culture generated ideas, movements and styles which undermined traditional values, crossed disciplines and established radical visual codes. The object of this cycle of lectures is to revisit these innovations and to place them in a comparative context — taking due account of concurrent philosophical doctrines, material culture, the literary and performing arts and socio-political change.

    13 October

    1. In vino veritas? My Sentimental Journey into Russian Art.

    20 October

    1. Sergei Diaghilev: “Goodness me! What do I do with 2285 portraits?”

    27 October

    1. Sweet Confections, Enchanted Nights: Léon Bakst in Wonderland.

    3 November

    1. Trance, Transgression, Transmutation: Vasilii Kandinsky and the Other.

    10 November

    1. Distorting Mirrors: Reflections on Marc Chagall, Natal’ia Goncharova, Kazimir Malevich….

    17 November

    1. Pavel Filonov and Atomic Energy.

    24 November

    1. “Write nothing! Read nothing! Say nothing! Print nothing!”. Zero and Revolution.

    1 December

    1. Isis and Ra: Stalin as Pharaoh.

    For more information, visit: