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Revolution Day. The inscription on the stamp reads: "All power to the Soviets!" (Все власть Cоветам!). 30th Anniversary of October Revolution. 1947, Nov.. USSR. Scott#1183. Private American Collection.

Postage Stamps: Messengers of the Soviet Future

Lower Gallery


Visitor’s Guide

This exciting exhibition spans nearly 100 years of illustrative history, tracing the evolution of a country through the impactful images contained on postage stamps. The stamps, rich in artistry and visual eloquence, communicated the Soviet Union’s aspirational utopian vision to the people of the USSR and around the world. On exclusive display through September 20, 2009, this original exhibition features approximately 300 rare stamps on loan from a private collector.

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Mai Volfovich Dantsig. Sleepless (Unmade Bed). 1986, Oil on Canvas. Private American Collection.

Russkiy Salon: Select Favorites and Newly Revealed Works

Main and Mezzanine Galleries

Russkiy Salon features some of the most remarkable and popular paintings exhibited at TMORA over the past six years. This unique exhibition allows art-lovers the opportunity to reacquaint themselves with the familiar masterpieces. Approximately 54 paintings will be on view including works such as the beloved Milkmaids, Novella, by Nikolai N. Baskakov, the dramatic and evocative Unmade Bed by Mai Dantsig, and many other outstanding works of 20th century Russian art. The exhibition will also include pieces that have not been previously displayed. Among them is an epic work by the eminent Soviet artist Yuri Pimenov First of May Celebration.

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Mariya Fedorovna Dobrina. Changing Shifts. Oil on Canvas, 18 7/8" x 40". Private American Collection.

Fade to Black: The Composition of Shadow

33 paintings, Lower Gallery

This exhibition explores themes of darkness, nighttime and shadows during the Socialist Realist period of Russian art.  In the official art of Socialist Realism, ‘light’ was a universal metaphor for Soviet life that promised a radiant future to the people.  Soviet artists were expected to produce artwork that was infused with energy and sunlight fit for exposure at state-supported and censored exhibitions.  These scenes, lacking an identifiable source of light, display an experimental desire of Soviet artists that was never completely suppressed.

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The Descent into Hell, ca. 1670. Tempera on wooden panel. 75 x 58 cm. Yaroslavl Art Museum, Yaroslavl, Russia.

Transcendent Art: Icons from Yaroslavl, Russia

54 icons from the Yaroslavl Art Museum in the Main and Mezzanine Galleries

This exhibition features 54 extraordinary icons from the Yaroslavl Art Museum. The treasured, and once venerated icons on view were painted in the 17th and 18th centuries, considered “The Golden Age” of Yaroslavl’s cultural and commercial life. Separating the exquisite icons of Yaroslavl from others of the same period is the highly decorative quality, the free composition, the mass of architectural detail and lavishly decorated robes to tell a story through a common symbolic language.

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Prokudin-Gorskii, Sergei Mikhailovich. Family in Yurt, Central Asia. 1 negative (3 frames) : glass, b&w, three-color separation. Library of Congress, Prokudin-Gorskii Collection.

The Lost Empire: Photographer to the Tsar

Lower Gallery

Visitor’s Guide

The remarkable photographs of Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii offer a haunting glimpse into a lost world—
the Russian Empire on the eve of World War I and before the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.  With the support of Tsar Nicholas II, Prokudin-Gorskii traveled throughout the vast reaches of the Russian Empire, carefully documenting its people, architecture, landscape and industry.  Using an innovative camera of his own design, Prokudin-Gorskii captured subjects in vivid color.  TMORA presents 23 stunning images, borrowed from the Library of Congress, in a custom-designed light installation.

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Aleksandr Mikhailovich Gerasimov After The Rain Oil on Canvas 22 1 2 x 23 3 8
Aleksandr Mikhailovich Gerasimov. After the Rain. 1930s, Oil on Canvas. Private American Collection.

Russian Impressionism: On the Edge of Soviet Art

Main and Mezzanine Galleries

This exhibit of 54 fine art paintings traces the historical evolution and influence of impressionist painting from its roots in 19th century France to its successful transplantation in pre-Revolutionary Russia. Although impressionism was routinely suppressed by the Communist Party as a foreign-inspired and socially decadent art form for over six decades, Russian artists never abandoned their affection for and use of impressionist brush techniques and color pallet. Impressionism survived behind closed doors and re-emerged as a dynamic and beloved art form that is uniquely Russian.

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Malle Leis. Untitled. Serigraph.

Printmaking from Soviet Estonia

Prints from the Zimmerli Museum and Rutgers University in the Lower Gallery

“Art was a controlled substance in Russia and the Communist-bloc countries of Eastern Europe during much of the Soviet era (1922-91). While government censors tried to restrict what artists painted or sculpted – especially anything with a religious or political theme – they largely ignored etchings, lithographs and other prints because they were considered minor art forms. A new show of 41 Soviet-era Estonian prints, on loan from Rutgers University, suggests that a lot of social commentary slipped under the official radar in those days. The Rutgers collection specializes in “nonconformist” art, meaning pieces that ignored or defied the official party line.”  (Mary Abbe, Star Tribune)

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Geli Korzhev Raising the Banner
Geli Korzhev. Triptych - Communists: Raising the Banner. 1957-1960, Oil on Canvas. 60 7/8 x 113 1/8 in. The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Raising the Banner: The Art of Geli Korzhev

61 paintings including 16 works from the State Russian Museum and the Tretyakov Galleryin the Main, Mezzanine, and Lower Galleries

Visitor’s Guide
Geli Mikhailovich Korzhev 
(1925 – ) is recognized by contemporary Russian art historians as one of the most influential painters of the second half of the 20th century; his work has influenced the style and subjects of two generations of post-WWII Russian artists. In collaboration with curators at the State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg) and the State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow), TMORA will present an exclusive retrospective exhibition of 61 paintings that includes exceptional examples of Korzhev’s paintings from all segments of his remarkable career. 16 of the paintings are on loan to TMORA from the two largest Russian national museums. TMORA will dedicate its entire exhibition facility to this exhibition that represents the first solo exhibition for a single artist at the museum. This exhibition includes representative examples of works from every stage of Korzhev’s artistic life.

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Andrew More Photograph Winter Palace
View of Palace Square through the General Staff Headquarters. Andrew Moore.

Russia: A Photographic Journey

The Art of Andrew Moore in the Lower Gallery

Visitor’s Guide

“The Museum of Russian Art has a fascinating show of large-scale photos of contemporary Russia by Andrew L. Moore of New York. Moore has a fabulous eye for design and detail, and seems to have had unparalleled access to everything from private apartments in St. Petersburg, to costume closets at the Kirov Ballet, to abandoned missile sites in remote villages. His stunning color photos… document a country undergoing dramatic economic and political changes.”  (Mary Abbe, Star Tribune)

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Bread Basket
Nikolai Ippolitovich Obrynba. Before the Storm, 1957. Oil on canvas. Private American Collection.

Soviet Bread Basket

47 paintings, Main and Mezzanine Galleries

An exhibition of approximately 50 paintings featuring Russian landscape scenes and images of Soviet agriculture. The Virgin Lands project, communal farming and the social significance of agricultural development in Russia will be presented in a visual tour of all the varied geographical regions of the former Soviet Union.

A Map of Soviet Land Usage provides some background material for the exhibition.

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