This exhibition presents a sampling of TMORA’s permanent collection of art from the 15 countries formed from the former Soviet Union. Mounting this exhibition, TMORA expresses a profound gratitude to art donors who contributed to the Museum’s ever-growing collection. Over the last twenty years, more than a hundred people donated their artworks and cultural artifacts to the Museum, generously sharing their art with the broad public.
Founded in 2002 by the prominent art collectors Raymond and Susan Johnson, TMORA is one of the few American museums collecting art from Muscovite Russia, the Russian Empire, and the former republics of the Soviet Union. When the Museum moved to its present location in 2005, TMORA’s collection was comprised of a mere dozen Soviet-era oil paintings. In 2021, the collection numbered more than seven thousand pieces of diverse treasures from this region: paintings, sculpture, icons, drawings, posters, New Year ornaments, coins, medals, postage stamps, nesting dolls, folk clay toys, porcelain, samovars, and more.
A highlight of the collection is a group of 111 paintings from Ukraine in the official art style of the Soviet era, Socialist Realism. The collection also includes outstanding examples of non-conformist art from the 1960s-1980s, produced by the artistic underground. The Museum owns an extensive collection of folk art, such as Russian nesting dolls and traditional clay toys, as well as unique sets of fascinating cultural artifacts of the Soviet era, such as New Year ornaments, medals and coins. The Museum’s Soviet-era posters are unique historical documents, striking for their graphic imagery.
The Permanent Collection Gallery will rotate works of art from the Museum’s holdings every year. A special feature of the exhibition is the recent acquisitions section, which will renew every month to present the most recent donations to TMORA’s Collection.