March 27, 2020

We barely made it before the stay-at-home executive order to install “Anthem of People’s Love” by Shovkunenko, Biletzky, and Reznik. Check out the installation video also posted on our page!

Boasting an astounding 12 ft x 19 ft, it is the largest painting ever displayed in our museum. The painting shows leading members of the Soviet government and foreign dignitaries greeting Josef Stalin on his 70th birthday amid a full house of guests in Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater.

Well, what can we say looking at these crowds? “Badly done, Emma!” (If you haven’t yet guessed, it’s a quote from Jane Austin). Certainly a bad example of social distancing, but more so a bad kind of leadership – decades of repression and stringent ideological control. As far as the artwork goes, it’s an amazing canvas with historical figures portrayed very accurately and the multi-figure composition well arranged.

When we reopen the museum, this is a must see exhibition. Together with more than a hundred other Soviet-era paintings, this is a gift from the Jurii Maniichuk and Rose Brady Collection, and we express our sincere gratitude to the donor Rose Brady. -Dr. Masha Zavialova, Chief Curator & Head of Collections, The Museum of Russian Art

Oleksi Shovkunenko (1884-1974), Platon Biletsky (1922-1998), and Igor Reznik (1918-1978)
Anthem of People’s Love, 1950-51
Oil on canvas
Gift of the Jurii Maniichuk and Rose Brady Collection
158” x 236” (with edges)