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Virtual Tour with the Curator – “Masquerade for New Year”

Wednesday, December 30, 2020 from 11:00 am - 12:00 pm


The Museum of Russian Art invites you to join us for a virtual tour of our holiday exhibition, Masquerade for New Year, with Chief Curator Dr. Masha Zavialova.

Very apropos for these times, Masquerade for New Year features an array of fascinating masked personae!  Through millennia, humans donned masks to participate in pagan rituals, religious ceremonies, festive carnivals, theatre performances, fancy ball parties, and rustic merry-making. During the devastating plague epidemics in 17th century Europe, physicians wore bird masks with long beaks: the beaks contained aromatic herbs to quench the smell. Soviet New Year celebrations often included carnival parties where participants wore masks and costumes. At a Soviet-era masquerade, one could meet characters of Russian folk tales and literary heroes: Baba Yaga, Snow Maiden, Doctor Aibolit, Onion Boy Cipollino, Puss-in-Boots, Grey Wolf, and other colorful guises. Learn about the array of New Year masks, tree ornaments, family photographs, Grandfather Frost figurines, and more!

In addition to the rich display of New Year masks, the exhibition features tree ornaments, family photographs, Grandfather Frost figurines, and other related materials from the late 1930s through 1960s. These rare and fascinating objects are drawn from Kim Balaschak’s extensive donation to the Museum, as well as the private collection of Blaine Bolden. The Museum greatly appreciates the unique vision of the collectors who have assembled extraordinary arrays of artifacts from the bygone Soviet era and contributed to our exhibitions and collections in many meaningful ways.

FREE | This program will be presented as a Zoom webinar. | Please register in advance.


Photograph featured is from the collection of Kim Balaschak.

The Museum of Russian Art would like to thank Moore’s Insurance Management, Inc. for sponsoring this exhibition.


Wednesday, December 30, 2020
11:00 am - 12:00 pm