Leaders and the Masses: Mega Paintings from Soviet Ukraine
Inaugural Exhibition of the Jurii Maniichuk and Rose Brady Collection of The Museum of Russian Art
June 29, 2020 – January 10, 2021
Main and Mezzanine Galleries
Vadim Odainik and Zoia Odainik-Samoilenko
V. Lenin Makes a Speech on Red Square, 1960s
Oil on Canvas
Gift of the Jurii Maniichuk and Rose Brady Collection
The exhibition features thirty-seven Soviet-era paintings, highlighting a remarkable recent donation to the museum from the Jurii Maniichuk and Rose Brady Collection. Rose Brady gifted 111 paintings from the collection assembled by her late husband, Ukrainian-American law professor and consultant, Jurii Maniichuk (1955-2009). Maniichuk acquired more than a hundred works from leading Ukraine-based artists or their heirs while working in Kyiv, Ukraine, in the 1990s as a legal consultant to the Ukrainian government. At that time, socialist realist works had fallen from favor in newly independent Ukraine and thus were in danger of being painted over, forgotten, or destroyed. Maniichuk preserved the works as a window into his past, legally moving them to the United States in 1999.
These historical works include some of the largest Soviet-era canvases in existence, exemplified by Anthem of People’s Love, which is an astonishing fourteen by nineteen feet. Larger-than-life portrayals of Soviet leaders feature Lenin, Stalin, and Khrushchev, alongside collective farmers, soldiers, sailors, road construction workers, fishermen, and more. Many of the paintings in the exhibition have never been shown before in the United States.