Katia Dianina / Slavic Languages and Literatures

Virginia’s Troika: Three Russian Art Collections in the Commonwealth

Three world-class collections of Russian art grace the Richmond-Washington DC corridor.  I propose to use support from the Mead Endowment to take a dozen undergraduates to each of these institutions for a full day of inquiry and exploration with the museums’ curatorial staff and the art itself.

We would begin at the Hillwood Museum in Washington, where Karen Kettering and her colleagues would give us an insider’s look at the renowned collection of oil canvas, porcelain and statuary assembled by Post Cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post.  We would then shift our attention to the Virginia Museum of Fine Art’s collection of Fabergé, enamel and silverwork under the guidance of resident specialist Twyla Kitt.  We would spend our final day of exploration at the Lazare Gallery in Charles City, where John and Kathy Wurdeman have assembled the best collection of twentieth-century Moscow realism in North America.  In each case, our gallery viewings would be combined with seminar-like sessions with the experts, allowing ample time for questions and student oriented discussion, which provides an unusual complement to the way most people interact with art in museums.  I would facilitate broader discussions during our travel to and from the museums themselves.

Museums: Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Lazare Gallery, Moscow School of Russian Realism