Revolution! An Introduction to Russian Art 1917-1932 - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Revolution! An Introduction to Russian Art 1917-1932

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Spring and Autumn School 2017

Revolution! An Introduction to Russian Art 1917-1932


Spring and Autumn Schools 2017

Revolution! An Introduction to Russian Art 1917-1932

Tuesday 4- Friday 7 April 2017

Dr Natalia Murray



This intensive, introductory course is designed for anyone with an interest in early twentieth-century Russian art, culture and politics.  No previous knowledge is required and the course is open to everyone over the age of 18.  The number of participants is limited to 16.

This course will examine one of the most fruitful periods in the history of Russian art, when more than seventy-two artistic movements developed after the Bolshevik Revolution. Some of these were ephemeral, but others carried on until 1932, the date when all artistic societies and groups were shut down and the avant-garde was stopped in its tracks. What we will look at is the culmination of an artistic revolution, which actually started before the political one and gave the world such artists as Chagall, Kandinsky, Malevich, Tatlin, Filonov, Larionov and Goncharova.  We will study the development of different artistic movements in these last fifteen years of cultural freedom in Russia and critically discuss the shifts in their cultural contexts, notably the political demands of the new Bolshevik society.

Classroom sessions will be complemented by appropriate afternoon visits.  These will include ‘Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932’, the major exhibition of post-revolutionary Russian art curated by Natalia Murray for the Royal Academy of Arts; an exhibition of Soviet architecture and design at the new Design Museum; the constructivist archive at Tate Britain, and GRAD, the Gallery for Russian Art and Design.

Dr Natalia Murray completed a PhD course at the Hermitage Museum and obtained a second PhD from The Courtauld.   Currently teaching nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian art at The Courtauld, she is also working as head of education and public programmes at GRAD (Gallery for Russian Art and Design) and as a curator. Her major new exhibition ‘Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932’ will open at the Royal Academy of Arts in February 2017.  She wrote The Unsung Hero of the Russian Avant-Garde. The Life and Times of Nikolay Punin (Brill Academic, 2012) and is currently editing her next book on post-revolutionary festivals in Petrograd.


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