Two recent donations to the Georgia Museum of Art have a common theme: life in mid-19th century Russia. The next focused exhibition in the museum’s “In Dialogue” series, “In Dialogue: Views of Empire: Grand and Humble,” will feature two collections of prints that create a conversation about what it means to be a working-class citizen in Russia. at this moment. time.
The first gift is part of the Parker Collection, a large collection of Russian art donated to the museum, and includes 25 large lithographs depicting the Imperial Metropolis and the neoclassical buildings of St. Petersburg. The second gift came from Marina Belosselsky-Belozersky Kasarda and Vladislav Kasarda and includes works of art that focus on capturing the lives of individuals and their occupations in the 19th century. Thirty small hand-colored lithographs show images of coachmen, porters, water carriers, innkeepers, firefighters and street vendors, among others. They pay homage to a 16th-century tradition of working-class print images, such as designs by Annibale Carracci of water carriers, wine sellers, and other street vendors in Bologna, Italy.
Parker curator of Russian art Asen Kirin researched the two gifts and discovered that they were both issued by the same publisher, who had an office in St. Petersburg and another in Moscow and produced the prints in collaboration with a French partner, Lemercier in Paris.
A closer examination of the two sets of works will reveal that many figures seen around imperial buildings in the large lithographs resemble the people depicted in the small lithographs. The contrast between the elaborate and stately architecture and the brightly colored people would have aroused a sense of awe and belonging among viewers of the time.
âThe sober but very nuanced color palette of large cityscapes adds a sense of formality and invites deference. At the same time, the bright colors of the small print depicting workers evoke associations with everyday life. This work recognizes and affirms class distinctions, while simultaneously advancing the notion of a shared single national identity, âKirin said.
The exhibition will run until August 21, 2022.
Associated events include a Family Day on January 15 from 10 a.m. to noon (pick up a free art kit for Family Day to take away Thursday through Sunday or take part in Art Cart activities on January 15; the family is sponsored by Lucy and Buddy Allen and the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art) and a curatorial talk by Kirin on March 30 at 2 p.m. All programs are free and open to the public and are currently scheduled as in-person events. Free general admission tickets are always required, either in advance on georgiamuseum.org or at the desk in the lobby.