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Галерея современного искусства ГМИИ РТ
ул.Карла Маркса, 57
On the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the formation of the avant-garde collection of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts
The collection of the avant-garde of the early twentieth century of the State Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Tatarstan (Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts) is the pride of the museum collection. It is represented by the paintings of famous Russian artists of the early twentieth century V.V. Kandinsky, A.M. Rodchenko, A.V. Lentulova, N.S. Goncharova, M.F. Larionova, P.V. Kuznetsova, R.R. Falk, V.V. Rozhdestvensky, I.I. Mashkova, A.A. Osmerkin and others. The museum collection reflects almost all stages of the development of the Russian avant-garde: symbolism, cubism, futurism, primitivism, abstract art, constructivism, etc.
The avant-garde collection began to form in 1920, after the Kazan Scientific Industrial Museum was reorganized into the Central Museum of the Tatar ASSR. The All-Russian Collegium for Museums and the Preservation of Monuments of Art and Antiquities and the State Art Fund of the Department of Fine Arts of the People’s Commissariat of Education of the RSFSR played a major role in shaping the collection of contemporary Russian art. In 1920, they transferred to Kazan to the art department of the museum a number of works by leading Russian artists, representing, first of all, the latest art movements. This was part of the ambitious plan of the Department of Fine Arts of the People’s Commissariat of Education on creating museums of pictorial culture in the country - the first modern art museums in the world art practice. In Kazan, as well as in the whole country (with the exception of Moscow), a special museum was not created, and revenues merged into the already existing City Museum.
It was these revenues - the paintings of the leading Russian avant-gardists - that formed the core of the Kazan collection of the Russian avant-garde. The works were shown at the First State Exhibition of Art and Science in Kazan in 1920 in the building of the Kazan Art School.
The expansion of the museum collection of the Russian avant-garde took place in the second half of the 1920s - early 1930s. In 1930 a number of paintings were transferred from the State Russian Museum, including N.I. Altman, N.I. Kulbin In 1932 the works of M.F. Larionova and V.V. Kandinsky (the latter was in the collection of the Museum of Artistic Culture in Moscow before its disbandment). The next stage of the collection was connected with the reorganization of the museum in 1958, when the art department (Art Gallery) acquired the status of an independent Museum of Fine Arts and later, in 1967, moved into its own building. The turn of the 1950s – 1960s. was critical for the collection of Russian avant-garde - a number of works were written off as not meeting the ideology of social realism, but the museum staff managed to keep the best part of the collection, and the written-off works saved by the young researcher A.I. Novitsky, in 1990 - 1992. were returned to the museum. Liberal 1970s - 1980s became a period of active procurement of works from the heirs of the masters of the Russian avant-garde. In 2016, the collection of the museum was also replenished with the works of A. Rodchenko and V. Stepanova.
At the turn of 1910 - 1920s. A collection of works of the Kazan avant-garde, which originally appeared as a collection of works of teachers and students of the Kazan State Free Art Workshops, began to take shape. At this time, the flowering of the graphic school (the association "Sunflower" and "Rider"). In the 1920–1930s due to the liquidation of the workshops and the loss of the building, many works were lost. Unfortunately, the Kazan avant-garde was preserved fragmentary. After the 1950s his collection was greatly enlarged with works submitted to the museum either by the artists themselves or by their families (K. Chebotarev, A. Platunova, and others).
The high quality of the Kazan collection of the Russian avant-garde is evidenced by the fact that its works are consistently in demand at many of the largest exhibitions of the Russian avant-garde, held in Russia and abroad.
Dina Akhmetova, art historian