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Gallery Talk: Leningrad Underground with Collector Ruvim Braude

Thursday, September 28, 2023 from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

$5 – $12

The Museum of Russian Art (TMORA), in partnership with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), presents a gallery talk with collector Ruvim Braude.

TMORA’s Main Gallery exhibition Leningrad Underground brings to light the reclusive world of Leningrad’s unofficial art – a microcosm of free thought and artistic experimentation amidst the heavily censored Soviet universe of constraints and taboos. This exhibition, drawn from the Ruvim and Inna Braude collection, brings together a selection of sixty-four Soviet-era works from this less explored corner of the Soviet-era netherworld .

Join us for a special evening with collector Ruvim Braude for an in-depth exploration of the collection, artists, and the Braudes’ mission to preserve the legacy, history, and uniqueness of Leningrad’s non-conformist art movement.

Thursday, September 28 | Doors open at 6:00 PM, Presentation begins at 7:00 PM

Seating is located in the main gallery and is general admission. 

TICKETS: $12 General Admission |  TMORA Members $10  |  Students  $5


All galleries and TMORA Shop will be open prior to and following the presentation. Free parking is available across the street from TMORA in the Mayflower Church parking lot. Street parking is also available


“I was not raised by a family who collected art. On the contrary, the seven of us lived in a small Leningrad apartment. Our walls were filled with Talmudic literature and photographs of family members killed in the war and in Stalin’s Gulag. My grandfather was the Chief Rabbi of Leningrad’s Jewish community. We were connected to dissident circles, but the underground art movement was not one of them. My first encounter with Leningrad’s (now St. Petersburg) unofficial art was in 1975 when authorities surprisingly allowed an exhibition in a city event hall. I was stunned with what I saw: art that one wouldn’t find at any Soviet venue. The public quietly moved around the room with reverence while the artists stood near their work with name tags on their lapels and freely conversed with guests. At the time, I had a humble wish to acquire one or two such works some day. After I emigrated from the USSR in 1979 and over the next few decades, my wife and I collected a number of artworks from that movement. Now our passion is to share this art with people and, most importantly, preserve the legacy, history, and uniqueness of Leningrad’s non-conformist art movement.

-Ruvim Braude, Collector


Leningrad Underground: Unofficial Artists of the Soviet Era

This exhibition allows a glimpse into the reclusive world of Leningrad‘s unofficial art – a microcosm of free thought and artistic experimentation amidst the heavily censored Soviet universe of constraints and taboos. Challenging the official, and highly restrictive framework for creativity, unofficial artists claimed the right to unconditional self-expression. Freedom came with a price: dissenters were denied access to public exposure and cultural infrastructure. Obstacles notwithstanding, nonconformist artists pursued their individual choices with passion and resolve, sharing their discoveries with a close-knit circle of friends and supporters.

The exhibition unfolds a story of Leningrad’s clandestine art communities. The Arefiev Circle was the earliest unofficial art group in the post-WWII Soviet Union, active in the late 1940s-1950s. The Aleph (1975-77) was the only association of Jewish artists whose mission was to preserve and artistically interpret Jewish culture and history amidst the insidious antisemitism of the late Soviet epoch. Established in 1981, the Association for Experimental Visual Art organized groundbreaking exhibitions and contributed to the emergence of the famous Pushkinskaya 10, Russia’s oldest independent art center opened in Leningrad in 1989.

The exhibition features fifteen artists – including some of the movement’s most renowned – Alexander Arefiev, Alek Rapoport, Yevgeny Abeshaus, Alexander Gurevich, Alexander Manusov, Evgeny Ukhnalev, and others.

The Museum thanks the Braude family for sharing these works with the Minnesota public and for their perceptive and discerning judgment exercised in the creation of this collection.

Yevgeny Ukhnalev
This is Mine, 1989
Oil on canvas, 63″ x 46″
Collection of Inna and Ruvim Braude


Alexander Gurevich, 1944, Alapaevsk, USSR
Hurdy-Gurdy Player, 2003
Oil on canvas
Collection of Inna and Ruvim Braude


Thursday, September 28, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
$5 – $12


5500 Stevens Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55419 United States
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