Monday, January 20, 2020

Russian Art and History Intrigue at The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis

Russian Art and History Intrigue at The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis


Russian Art and History Intrigue at The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis

The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis opened up to us quite the treasure trove of Russian and Soviet art on exhibit. None of us were too familiar with Russian art, so we were really unsure of what to expect. After leaving, I can say that The Museum of Russian Art is one of our favorite museums. We loved the art and the layout! We also learned so much!



Soviet Propaganda:

The first gallery we strolled through focused on Soviet propaganda. This particular exhibit was especially interesting in the light of current discussions about modern propaganda. As a child growing up during the Cold War, I also found it interesting to see how indoctrination was happening in the USSR. Some of the posters looked pretty ominous -- at least to me:

Stern messaging on Soviet propaganda posters at The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis
Stern messaging on Soviet propaganda posters.
I loved how the gallery was set up. Plenty of space was available to step back and take in each piece. Plus, you could feel the severity of the times. Lenin, Marx and Engels feature in quite a bit of the messaging. Other posters focused on being good workers, not drinking and more.

Marx, Engels and Lenin featured in Soviet propaganda on display at The Museum of Russian Art
Marx, Engels and Lenin featured in Soviet propaganda.
A few actually were quite beautiful rather than so harsh. I can't quite remember this one's theme but I am guessing it is warning against the ills and excesses of drinking and feasting. It is incredible to think about how much of Russian culture was altered during the Soviet era.


Christmas with the Tsars

My favorite exhibit was Christmas with the Tsars focusing on traditions the Tsars practiced during the holidays. Christmas was actually prohibited in the Soviet Union returning after its collapse in the 1990's. So while admiring so many stunning pieces, I could not help by wonder how much was lost. The exhibit focused on Christmas during the Romanov dynasty. Special gifts given by the Romanovs, charming holiday postcards, stunning china and more were on display. I was pretty amazed to learn that the Christmas trees were made with dyed goose feathers in Germany! Ornaments featured whimsy, intricacy and beauty!


I, of course, had to admire the tea service. I especially loved discovering a brick of tea!

Tea set of the tsars at the Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis
Tea is served!
Truly a wonderful exhibit and quite the treat during the holidays!


Mystical Imprints: Marc Chagall, Ben-Zion and Ben Shahn

Another exhibit focused on the mystical art of several artists born in Russia --  Marc Chagall, Ben-Zion and Ben Shahn. I found this exhibit to be particularly introspective. It took quite some time to walk around. Below is The Passover Meal by Marc Chagall. Just incredible!

The Passover Meal by Marc Chagall at The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis
The Passover Meal by Marc Chagall
The exhibits in the museum rotate. So, take a peek at the schedule whenever you find yourself in Minneapolis. Many of the museums in Minneapolis are closed on Mondays so we were delighted to find The Museum of Russian Art open. We had no idea while trip planning the treasure we would find the museum to be! The Gift Shop is incredible as well -- full to the brim with so many Russian and Russian-inspired items. Plus, we enjoyed a little of the Tsar's tea as we walked around. A great one for your Minneapolis itinerary!

Russian Art and History Intrigue at The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis



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