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

Monday, November 9, 2020 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


On Monday, November 9, The Museum of Russian Art will reveal Masquerade for New Year – a holiday exhibition that unfolds the story of New Year celebrations in Soviet Russia.

We invite you to celebrate the opening of this exhibition by joining a virtual tour with TMORA’s Chief Curator Dr. Masha Zavialova.

Very apropos for these times, Masquerade for New Year will feature 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: Baby 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 will feature 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 our 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.

Monday, November 9
7:00 – 8:00 PM CST
FREE | This program will be presented as a Zoom webinar. | Please register in advance.


Masquerade for New Year will be on view in the Lower Gallery November 9, 2020 – January 10, 2021.

All objects and photographs featured here are from the collection of Kim Balaschak.

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


Monday, November 9, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm