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In October 2017, to mark the hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution, the Sainsbury Centre will stage the Russia Season, two hugely exciting exhibitions contrasting Russian art and life before and after the Revolution.
To help celebrate this launch we are delighted to welcome the two curators, who will discuss and sign copies of the books they have written to accompany the exhibitions:
Ian Collins with Fabergé – From St Petersburg To Sandringham
Peter Waldron with Radical Russia – Art, Culture And Revolution
Tickets are £7 and available from Customer Services, floor 2 or click here
About the books
Radical Russia: art, culture and revolution by Peter Waldron
The revolutions of 1917 in Russia swept away the centuries-old Romanov dynasty and installed Lenin's Bolsheviks in power. Russian art and culture too were thrown into disarray as traditional forms of expression were challenged and subverted by a new generation of young, radical artists and writers who seized upon the dramatic development of abstraction in west European art and gave it a uniquely Russian character. Kazimir Malevich, Vladimir Maiakovskii, Natalia Goncharova and El Lissitzky each brought their own style to the Russian avant-garde, shocking and provoking their audiences.
This new book by Peter Waldron discusses how the worlds of art and politics became intertwined in revolutionary Russia. Radical Russian culture flourished even before the cataclysmic revolutions of 1917, and revolutionary art helped to fuel the fundamental political changes symbolised by the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks in October 1917. The avant-garde devoted their energies to creating a new revolutionary society in Russia, creating stylish new objects to be used as part of everyday life, designing buildings, staging festivals and producing propaganda. Art and culture stood in the vanguard of a revolution that encompassed every facet of Russian life.
Fabergé – From St Petersburg To Sandringham by Ian Collins
Between 1882 and 1917, Carl Fabergé is said to have directed the production of 200,000 fabulous pieces of jewellery, silverware and miniature objets d’art including the celebrated Easter eggs. After the Bolshevik Revolution most of the jewellery and silver was broken up and melted down to sell abroad for hard currency. Objects survived in Russia because the artistry in them was more valuable than their materials.
Ian Collins’s new book reveals how such exquisite creativity ranged from St Petersburg and the Romanov court to a dairy on Norfolk’s Sandringham Estate through the patronage of two Danish sisters – who, as Alexandra and Maria Feodorovna, became queen consorts in Britain and Russia and who strove to bring their adopted countries together. Fabergé’s London store was the only one outside the Russian Empire and also the most successful.
In 1907 Fabergé embarked on his biggest commission – sending sculptors to Norfolk to model animals on the Royal estate, a project summing up the naturalistic genius of the enterprise and the idealism of the Edwardian era. Seven years later war and then revolution altered the world forever. But thanks to the masterly craftsmen of the House of Fabergé, great art persists in small things.
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