Beyond Russia’s Two Capitals: Regional Art Exhibitions in the Russian Empire

Maria Chukcheeva's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
April 27, 2023 to April 28, 2023
Location: 
Russian Federation
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Digital Humanities, Fine Arts, Russian or Soviet History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies

Date: 27-28 April 2023; European University at Saint Petersburg

The conference will be held in mixed format: via Zoom and in person at the European University at Saint Petersburg.

Decentering art life in the Russian Empire — throwing light on exhibitions and art organisations outside the two capital cities of Saint-Petersburg and Moscow — is the underlying purpose of the research project “Collecting and Display in the Russian Empire”, set up in late 2021 as a collaboration between the  Faculty of Art History (from September 2022: School of Arts and Cultural Heritage) and  the Center for Machine Learning, Data Analysis and Statistics (MAST) at the European University at Saint Petersburg. Our small team focuses on the history of exhibition practice and of collecting in the Russian Empire up to 1917.

As the first stage in realisation of the project, we are assembling a full database of art exhibitions (not just fine art and including artistic sections at other exhibitions) in the Russian Empire, which covers those held in Saint-Petersburg and Moscow but seeks particularly to throw light on exhibitions held in the regions, from provinces to those territories that are now independent states.

Art life in the regions of the Russian Empire has often been sidelined in the larger picture of art history, and this conference aims to bring this vital material to wider attention and stimulate discussion. If the 1905 relaxing of censorship vastly increased the number of exhibitions, local societies and individuals had already established regular and highly significant exhibitions all over the Empire.

We invite colleagues to illuminate and discuss exhibitions that were held in the different regions, to consider their specific features and become part of this huge — and inevitably collaborative — project. We particularly welcome papers that address exhibitions before 1905.

Working languages: Russian and English.

Proposals for presentations of twenty minutes should include the following information:

  • 1. Information about participant (full name and academic status);
  • 2. Contact information;
  • 3. Proposal (no more than 600 words).

Participation in the conference is free.

Proposals should be sent to collectinganddisplayrusemp@gmail.com by 15 January 2023.

Organizing committe: Ilia Dorontchenkov (Deputy Director for Research, The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow; Professor, European University at Saint Petersburg), Catherine Phillips (Associate research fellow, European University at Saint Petersburg), Maria Chukcheeva (Research fellow, European University at Saint Petersburg), Tatiana Yudenkova (Head of the Department of 19th-early 20th-century painting, The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow), Ekaterina Boltunova (Head of Labaratory of Regional history of Russia, Higher School of Economics, Moscow), Anastasia Sabinina (PhD student, European University at Saint Petersburg), Nikita Agranovskij (PhD student, European University at Saint Petersburg)