March 31, 2020

This small painting by artist Bakeeva from TMORA’s research collection is a bit of a mystery. Little is known about this artist. Well, to be honest, nothing is known. The painting is called “Misha” — apparently, this is the name of the boy who is portrayed here. It happens quite often that art lovers buy paintings by lesser known artists at auctions or in antique stores and don’t have a lot of information about the works they acquire. This is quite understandable. The historical thread is often lost once an artwork ends up in the art market. For this reason, a piece of advice from a museum curator: Artists- please write your first and last name, and location on back of painting. This is the least you can do to make our life easier. Auctioneers, gallerists, and other art sellers- please record whatever information can be gotten from the previous owner. Art collectors- knock down the price of an artwork if there is no information on the artist. Provenance, dear friends, is the magical word.

-Dr. Masha Zavialova, Chief Curator & Head of Collections, The Museum of Russian Art