Sixteen scholars from Russia, Vienna, and the United States explore the fate of Russian art collections and libraries following the Russian Revolution in 1917, the institutions and individuals responsible for their sale, and the prominent collectors, libraries, and museums that acquired them. Unlike the widely publicized controversy surrounding Soviet-Nazi war loot and its restitution, the sales of the interwar period are not well known outside a small scholarly community. This volume reveals the extent of the Soviet government's voluntary "realization" of Russia's cultural patrimony between 1918 and 1938 and its consequences for both the international art market and the perception of Russian art.
The imperial Easter eggs by Faberge and Old-Master paintings purchased by Andrew Mellon from the State Hermitage and now in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. are the most celebrated works that changed hands. Equally significant are the bibliographic rarities from imperial libraries, icons and liturgical art from churches and monasteries, and antiques, furnishings and fine art from estates, palaces, and private homes.
See the review in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/gift-guide/holiday-2009/ggantiques/list.html
Anne Odom is curator emerita at Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens in Washington, D.C. Wendy R. Salmond is professor of art history at Chapman University in Orange, California.
Director's Note / Frederick J. FisherForeword /Robert C. WilliamsPreface / Anne Odom and Wendy R. SalmondAcknowledgmentsIntroduction / Anne Odom and Wendy R. Salmond Part I: Soviet Culture after the Revolution1. The Fate of Russia's Estate Houses and Their Contents, 1917-1930 / Priscilla Roosevelt2. With Patriarch Tikhon's Blessing: Protecting and Restoring Works of Early Paintings / Irena Kyzlasova3. A Soviet Museum Experiment / Natalia Semenova4. Operation Duveen / Elena A. Osokina Part II: Soviet Museums and the First Five-Year Plan5. The Hermitage, Gosmuzeifond, and Antikvariat / Elena Solomakha6. Sales of Works from the Leningrad Palace Museums, 1926-1934 / Rifat Gafifullin7. On the Third Front: The Soviet Museum and Its Public during the Cultural Revolution / Konstantin Akinsha and Adam Jolles Part III: Sales in Europe and the United States8. Soviet Art Sales to Europe, 1919-1936 / Waltraud Bayer9. Gone with the Wind: The Selling of Furniture by David Roentgen and Other Decorative Arts / Wolfram Koeppe10. Russian Icons and American Money, 1928-1938 / Wendy R. Salmond11. American Collectors of Russian Decorative Art / Anne Odom Part IV: Imperial Libraries and Archives12. Behind the Stacks: American Acquisitions of Imperial Libraries / Kristen Regina13. Books for Tractors? Interwar Dispersal and Sales of Russian Imperial Palace Books / Patricia Kennedy Grimsted14. "The Tsar's Library: Books from Russian Imperial Palaces at the Library of Congress / Harold M. Leich15. Book Dealers, Collectors, and Librarians: Major Acquisitions of Russian Imperial Books at Harvard, 1920s-1950s / Irina Tarsis16. Romanov and Elite Provenance Materials in the New York Public Library / Robert H. Davis Jr. and Edward Kasinec AbbreviationsContributorsBibliographyIndex