This section covers resources for research on all types of art such as painting, graphics, decorative arts, stage designs and others. Some architectural sources are also included. Please note that many Russian artists are included in western language sources from museum catalogs and specialized encyclopedias to websites and on-line databases. Described below are major sources for art research either published in the Russian language or in other languages but specifically about Russian art. Use the Russian art guides annotated below to find other works that are not listed in this brief introduction.
Subject guides and bibliographies of bibliographies are often the best way to delve into a topic, for they discuss the various types of publications and reference works for a field of interest and often introduce the publishing history of that field. For art there are several items that fall under this category, most compiled by the art historian Olga Semenovna Ostroi. The University of Illinois Library holds a bio-bibliography of Ostroi entitled Ol’ga Semenova Ostroi. Biobibliograficheskii ukazatel’. Sankt-Peterburg: RNB, 1999, call number 012 Sa298o, Main Stacks. Although several guides for the subject of art may result in some duplication of content, all have a different focus and thus all should be consulted.
Ostroi, O. S.Moskva: Kniga, 1969. 213 p.
U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 016.7 Os7i
This is a comprehensive list of some 1232 publications containing bibliographies on fine and applied arts in Russia published from 1789 to 1968. The bibliographies listed here may be monographs or bibliographies published in serials or as parts of other books. They cover art education, art history, conservation, sculpture, painting, graphic arts, and decorative arts in great detail. Each of the five sections (general works, sculpture, painting, graphic arts, decorative-applied arts) begins with a brief essay on the bibliographic history of that subject. Annotations on the individual bibliographies give full bibliographic information, the number of items in the source, supplements to the source published elsewhere, and a general description of the material listed in the source. The guide provides a general index of names, authors and titles of unauthored works. Among the features of note in this volume are the listing of bibliographies of individual art critics and bibliographic works that might be overlooked because of their focus on history. The first section of the bibliography provides lists of bibliographies for the republics of the Soviet Union including titles in the vernacular language for the region. See the example below for the resources listed under painting in the Tadjik SSR.
Russkie spravochnye izdaniia po izobrazitel’nomu i prikladnomu iskusstvu.
Ostroi, O.S. Moskva: Kniga, 1972. 280 p.
U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 016.70947 Os7r
This is a list of sources for anyone doing research on fine and applied art in Russia which includes entries for encyclopedias, dictionaries, gallery guides, as well as bibliographies published before 1972. The guide is annotated, providing the scholar with detailed information on the contents and format of the resources described. The guide is organized by subjects which are listed in the detailed table of contents with separate indexes for authors and artists. The section on biographical sources, partially depicted below, is especially helpful for those interested in the arts. See the annotation immediately below for an updated version of this guide.
Izobrazitel’noe i prikladnoe iskusstvo. Russkie spravochnye izdaniia seredina XVIII-konets XX vv. Annotirovannyi ukazatel’.
Ostroi, O.S.; Saksonova, I.Kh. Sankt-Peterburg: Dmitrii Bulanin, 2002. 903 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) and Oak Street Facility 016.700947 Os7i
This volume is based on the 1972 edition listed immediately above, but it has been updated and expanded to include more recent publications up through 1997. With over 1600 citations this guide to Russian reference works on art such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, gallery guides, bibliographies, etc. is extremely valuable to the researcher. It is annotated, providing the scholar with detailed information on the contents and format of the resources described. The guide is organized by subjects which are listed in the detailed table of contents with separate indexes for authors and artists. The index for artists shows in which volumes information can be found about particular artists. Several of the subjects are divided by city, region or former republic. For instance, the section on sculpture covers the ancient world, and then Russia, the various republics, then countries of western Europe and Oceania. There is also a section on various museums and their catalogs. See the image below for two works about the Blagoveshchenskii Sobor in Moscow.
Izobrazitel’noe i prikladnoe iskusstvo. Bibliograficheskoe posobie.
Ostroi, O.S. Moskva: Kniga, 1986. 254 p.
U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 016.7 Os7i 1986
This guide includes a wide range of resources published before 1984 and is a true scholar’s guide to the field of art in Russia. The compiler has included subject and retrospective bibliographies, bibliographic guides, subject specific reference publications, such as encyclopedias, biographic dictionaries, iconographic materials, etc., memoir and diary literature, scholarly studies, the most important periodical publications, artistic series, and albums. The annotations include the full bibliographic citation, a description of the contents of the source with information on the access points, the list of artists included in the source, and illustrations. Ostroi has also described the annotations, if any, in the source. Each section of this work begins with a brief essay on the type of source included in that section and how it can be best used.
Entries are grouped into the following sections: fine and applied arts as a whole; art theory; conservation and restoration; the history of fine and applied arts; painting; sculpture; graphic arts; and decorative-applied arts. There is an index of names and titles without authors. There is also a supplement of literature published from 1984-1985. A special feature is the coverage of works in the languages of the other republics of the former Soviet Union. While the volume lacks a geographic index, it is quite easy to locate material relevant to specific regions because each subject section is broken down regionally. See the next Ostroi entry which expands on her work here regarding art of the Soviet period. The example below shows sources in the section on decorative arts made from bone.
Istoriia iskusstvovedcheskoi bibliografii v Rossii (XI-nach. XX vv.).
Ostroi, O. S. Leningrad: Gos. Pub. bib. im. Saltykova-Shchedrina, 1991. 222 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 701.180947 Os7i.
This guide is a series of bibliographic essays on art bibliography in pre-revolutionary Russia. It is divided chronologically into 5 sections: 11th-17th centuries, 18th century, 1801-1855, 1856-1894, 1895-1917. In each section there are discussions of indexes, museum guides, icongraphic dictionaries, biographic dictionaries, and encyclopedias. Basically, each section gives the researcher a clear idea of what kinds of sources exist for art and what may be difficult to locate or only available in archives.The footnotes contain citations to a large number of bibliographic sources. There is a name index to enhance access to the text.
Istoriia iskusstvovedcheskoi bibliografii v Rossii 1917-1991.
Ostroi, O. S. Sankt-Peterburg:Rossiiskaia Natsional’naia Biblioteka, 1994. 232 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 016.7072 Os7i. Note: Additional copy at Oak Street Facility.
This guide describes scholarly resources on art criticism in Russia in the Soviet era. The entire work is a series of bibliographic essays arranged chronologically into four periods: 1917-1932; 1933-1941; 1945-1960 and 1960-1991. In each section there are discussions of indexes, museum guides, icongraphic dictionaries, biographic dictionaries, and encyclopedias. Basically, each section gives the researcher a clear idea of what kinds of sources exist for art and what may be difficult to locate or only available in archives.The footnotes contain citations to a large number of bibliographic sources. There are also a name index and an index of museums.
Russkaia arkhitektura XI-nachala XX v. (Ukazatel’ izbrannoi literatury na russkom iazyke za 1811-1975 gg.).
Piliavskii, V. I., Gorshkova, N. Ia. Leningrad: Izd. Leningradskogo Universiteta, 1978. 157 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 016.720947 P64r.
This bibliography lists a variety of works, including periodicals, articles and books, on Russian architecture from 1811-1975. Although it lacks annotations, it is the only specialized bibliography with such sweeping chronological coverage. The section on bibliographies (pp. 144-145) is a useful guide to other possible sources for research. Citations are grouped into the following subject categories: works on classic Marxist-Leninist thought and important party documents; theory and aesthetics of architecture; architecture of Russian cities; specific problems in Russian architecture; monographs on architects; collections; periodical publications. The guide has an index of names, compilers and architects. See the listings for architecture of Astrakhan’ shown below.
Moskva: RGB, 1979- .
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Serials (Slavic) 016.7 Iz6 + Main Stacks [1986-]
Published by the Russian State Library in Moscow, this essential art bibliography appears 6 times a year. It covers books, articles and dissertations on a broad variety of art topics such as painting, sculpture, icons, engraving, and even cross-disciplinary themes such as art and politics and the sociology of art. Use the table of contents to ascertain the subject classification used in the bibliography. In addition to Russian materials this bibliography also provides citations for selected western language art periodicals. Annotations are given in Russian just for non-Russian items. For anyone who is trying to stay current in the field of Russian art this is the tool to use. Each issue has a name index and an author/title index. See the entries below which appear in the 2001, no. 2 issue under History of Sculpture.
Muzeinoe delo i okhrana pamiatnikov. Referativno-bibliograficheskaia informatsiia.
Moskva: RGB, 1984- .
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Serials (Slavic) 016.069 M987a and Main Stacks 016.069 M987 [1986-].
Published by the Russian State Library in Moscow, this annotated bibliography covers books, articles and dissertations of Russian and western literature on topics related to museums and cultural monuments. A sampling of topics includes museums and tourism, natural monuments, museum staff, museum catalogs, history of museums and legal acts concerning the preservation of monuments. Use the table of contents to determine the classification scheme of the bibliography. Unlike the bibliography listed above, this one is fully annotated regardless of language of publication. Each issue has a name index and an author/title index. See the entries below which appear in the 2001, no. 2 issue under the heading Propaganda.
Konservatsiia i restavratsiia muzeinykh khudozhestvennykh tsennostei.
Moskva: RGB, 1989-1992?
U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 016.7277 K837. Note: U of I holds 1989:1-2, 1990:1, 1991:1, 1992:1.
Published by the Russian State Library in Moscow, this annotated bibliography covers books, articles and dissertations of Russian and western literature on topics related to conservation and preservation of artistic monuments. A sampling of topics includes the technology of restoration, restoration of mosaics, furniture and items made from other materials, and the theory and methodology of restoration. Use the table of contents to determine the classification scheme of the bibliography. There is a name index in each issue. Although only a few issues of this serial bibliography were produced, it still may be of interest to those working in the field of conservation. See the entry below which appeared in the 1992:1 issue under the heading Restoration and study of textiles.
Moskva: Oss. knizhnaia palata, 1976- .
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Serials (Slavic) 705 LE1 and Main Stacks [1976-]
Part of the Russian national bibliography, this series provides citations to pictorial works that appear as books, calendars, postcards and posters. Use this bibliography to find out if reproductions of an artist’s work have been published in some format during a given year. The entries are arranged by type of publication and then further subdivided by subject. See the table of contents for the basic classification scheme. Each issue has indexes for authors, artists, personal names, series and museums which are then compiled into a cumulative annual index. Before 1976 this series appeared as Letopis’ pechatnykh proizvedenii izobrazitel’nogo iskusstva under the call number 705 LE. U of I only has issues beginning in 1954 although this title has been published since 1934. See the entry below for the poster Da zdravstvuet biblioteka!
Beutekunst. Bibliographie des internationalen Schrifttums uber das Schicksal des im Zweiten Weltkrieg von der Roten Armee in Deutschland erbeuteten Kulturgutes (Museums-, Archiv- und Bibliotheksbestande 1990-2000).
Bruhn, Pete; Görner, Franz. Berlin: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, 2000. Dritte Auflage. 366 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) Q.016.709430904 B467 2000
This is the 3rd edition of a bibliography of international sources on trophy art captured by the Red Army at the end of World War II. Although this bibliography includes many interesting monographs and articles from journals and newspapers, it is not very easy to use. The entries are arranged chronologically grouped by type of resource, monograph, newspaper article, or journal article. The only index is for names. With no subject access to the material the user will have to scan the entire bibliography unless searching only for a particular author. The citations are for Russian, German, French and English language publications with annotations provided for many. All of the Russian annotations have been translated into either German or English. See two sample entries from 1996 given above left.
Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’ literatury po voprosam konservatsii i restavratsii proizvedenii iskusstva i pamiatnikov kul’tury. Vypusk II.
Grenburg, Iu. I. et al. Moskva: VTsNILKR, 1965. 236 p. (VTsNILKR. Soobshcheniia ; 15).
U of I Library Call Number: History, Philosophy & Newspaper FILM 016.702880947 G865b 1965
When combined with the first vypusk, this annotated bibliography has 2467 entries for books and articles on the subject of conservation and restoration of art works and cultural artifacts. The first volume covers pre-Revolutionary Russian writings through 1960 and the second handles 1961-1963 plus some additional older items. Unfortunately, U of I lacks the first volume. Both volumes use the same subject arrangement and continuous enumeration of citations. The citations are arranged into 6 main groups: Museums and general questions on restoration; Painting; Graphics; Printed and manuscript books and archival materials; Sculpture; Applied arts. Within these broad categories, citations are further divided by more specific subjects. There are indexes for names and a list of journals consulted for the compilation of the bibliography. See the image below for the first two entries in vypusk 2.
Periodical Indexes for Art
Polevoi, Vadim Mikhailovich. Moskva: Sovetskaia entsiklopediia, 1986.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 703.9171 P82.
For brief biographical information on artists from all time periods and from all countries of the world or articles on particular movements or styles, this source may be helpful. The articles are usually quite brief, but they often have at least one bibliographical reference for further reading. Articles on movements and places also are included. This sources, as its title proclaims, is for popular use so scholars will find it of little interest except for quick fact checking. See the entry on the right on the painter, Lutfulla Abdullaevich Abdullaev.
Zolotoi vek khudozhestvennyikh ob”edinenii v Rossii i SSSR (1820-1932). Spravochnik.
Severiukhin, D.Ia. , Leikind, O.L. Sankt-Peterburg: Izd-vo Chernysheva, 1992. 400 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 706.0947 Se83z.
This small volume is basically a specialized encyclopedia of 400 artistic organizations in Russia from 1832-1932. The organizations included range from unions and artels to societies and exhibition groups. The entries contain a brief history of the group, information about their exhibitions and other activities as well as bibliographical and archival references. Most entries are about a page in length with some much longer. Indexes for names and locations supplement the text. See the entry below on the Skul’pturnyi kruzhok of Saint-Petersburg.
Sviatyni Sankt-Peterburga. Istoriko-tserkovnaia entsiklopediia v trekh tomakh.
Antonov, V.V., Kobak, A.V. Sankt-Peterburg: Izd-vo Chernysheva, 1994-1996. 3 vols.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 726.50947453 An88s v.1 [U of I lacks v.2-3]
All the Christian churches in Saint-Petersburg are described in this work. Divided into 3 sections, monasteries, cathedrals and parish churches, the entries relate the history of the building, architectural details, artwork housed in the building and famous church officials associated with each one. The text is enhanced by many illustrations and bibliographical references for further research. The appendices include a list of all the churches in Saint-Petersburg divided by type, for example, hospital churches and prison churches, and indexes for streets and names of architects, artists, and religious figures.
Bol’shoi entsiklopedicheskii slovar’ izobrazitel’nogo iskusstva.
Vlasov, Viktor. Sankt-Peterburg: LITA, 2000-
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 703 V845b v.1-4
This Russian-language encyclopedia of art will be published in 8 volumes. To date only the first 4 volumes (through the letter N) have come out. It contains articles on all aspects of world art, from movements and symbols to buildings and particular works of art. The emphasis is topics and symbolism in art as opposed to individual artists. We hope that an index will be included in one of the later volumes to aid access to the contents of longer survey articles. Unfortunately, there are few bibliographical references with the entries, but the work is amply illustrated with mostly black and white pictures. See the entry on the mythological creature, the hippogriff.
This category is somewhat of a catchall because it can contain several types of works such as terminological dictionaries or specialized compilations that could easily fall under the heading of encyclopedias. Basically, if a book calls itself a slovar’ then it is discussed here.
Vlasov, V.G. Sankt-Peterburg: AO “IKAR”, 1993. 272 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 703 V84i
This terminological dictionary provides definitions and etymologies for around 2,500 terms related to art, architecture and aesthetics including mythological, folkloric and christian themes. Terms related to Russian art forms such as icons are also defined. Many illustrations and tables enhance the text. For example, at the back one of the tables illustrates the different types of columns and another shows shapes of ancient jars. See the definition for Petrovskoe barokko.
Art and Exhibition Catalogs
There are many museum and exhibition catalogs available for Russian artists and Russian museums. Listed here are just a few for the major museums which emphasize Russian art such as the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow. For catalogs of the Hermitage see the detailed descriptions in Ostroi Russkie spravochnye izdaniia po izobrazitel’nomu i prikladnomu iskusstvu.
Moskva: Sovetskii khudozhnik, 1977. 637 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 730.947 M852sk
This is a catalog of the works held in the Tretiakov gallery by Russian sculptors. Entries which are arranged alphabetically by the surname of the artist offer the usual details on a piece of artwork such as physical description, dates, titles, exhibitions, but this work can also be useful for biographical research in two ways. First, each artist whose work is included has a biographical entry with very extensive bibliographical references. References to archival holdings also are provided. Second, if you are looking for a visual representation of someone, there is a name index for people who are depicted by the sculptures featured in the book. A name index is provided for access to the entire contents of the book as well as to the subjects of sculptures. Follow the link to the shortest entry in the book, the one for Sergei Pavlovich Riabushinskii.
Gosudarstvennaia Tret’iakovskaia galereia. Katalog zhivopisi XVIII-nachala XX veka (do 1917 goda).
Moskva: Izobrazitel’noe iskusstvo, 1984. 719 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 016.7597 G699g
This catalog of pre-revolutionary Russian paintings held in the Tretiakov Gallery is an expanded version of the 1952 catalog. The newer version includes revised attributions and additional facts such as the dates and sources of the acquisitions of the works by the Gallery. Entries are arranged alphabetically by the surname of the painter within 3 sections: Russian painters 18th century through the beginning of the 20th century, non-Russian painters 18th century through the beginning of the 20th century, and new acquisitions. Entries include the following information: name and dates of artist, title and date of the work, size, information about the signature and other relevant details. There is an artist index, indexes of people depicted in portraits and mentioned in the text, and an index of biblical and mythological figures. The final section is particularly interesting as it includes photographs of the signatures of the artists included in the catalog. See the entries below for the painter Ivan Kabanov.
Gosudarstvennaia Tret’iakovskaia galereia. Katalog sobraniia. Tom 1. Drevnerusskoe iskusstvo X-nachala XV veka.
Moskva: Krasnaia ploshchad’, 1995.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 759.7312 G699g1 v.1. Note: Additional copy at Oak Street Facility.
In the 1990’s a new series of catalogs for the Tretiakov Gallery began to appear. This volume is the first. It covers icons, both painted and sculpted, as well as old Russian crosses from the 10th-15th centuries. The catalog has lovely color reproductions and extensive documentation on the art pieces such as dating, size, attribution, signatures, restoration data, exhibition history and references for further reading. The entries are arranged into two sections, Icons and Sculpture and applied arts. Within these sections they are categorized by date and place of origin. The text is supplemented by several indexes for art work, subjects, geographic names, monasteries, personal names and others. See the entry to the left on a small stone cross as an example of the bare minimum of data provided on one piece. Most of the icon entries are extensive.
Gosudarstvennaia Tret’iakovskaia galereia. Katalog sobraniia. Seriia risunok XVIII-XX vekov. Tom 1. Risunok XVIII veka.
Moskva: Krasnaia ploshchad’, 1996. 310 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 759.7312 G699g2
This is the first volume in the drawing series of the catalog of the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow. It covers 18th century drawings by Russian artists or others who were active in Russia. The opening essay traces the history of the collection and highlights important figures and trends of the time period. The catalog is amply illustrated with both color and black and white pictures. Entries which are arranged by artist with unknown artists at the end contain extensive documentation of the pieces such as date, size, restoration information, attribution, and references for further research. The text is supplemented by several indexes for artists, biblical and mythological figures, geographic and personal names, etc. There are also sections for signatures and watermarks. See the examples below of artists signatures.
Gosudarstvennaia Tret’iakovskaia galereia. Katalog sobraniia. Seriia zhivopis’ XVIII-XX vekov. Tom 1. Portretnaia miniatiura XVIII-nachala XX veka.
Moskva: Krasnaia ploshchad’, 1997. 262 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International & Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 759.7312 G699g3
Gosudarstvennaia Tret’iakovskaia galereia. Katalog sobraniia. Seriia zhivopis’ XVIII-XX vekov. Tom 2. Zhivopis’ XVIII veka.
Moskva: Krasnaia ploshchad’, 1998. 334 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International and Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 759.7312 G699g1 v.2
Gosudarstvennaia Tret’iakovskaia galereia. Katalog sobraniia. Seriia zhivopis’ XVIII-XX vekov. Tom 4. Zhivopis’ Vtoroi poloviny XIX veka. Kniga pervaia A-M.
Moskva: Krasnaia ploshchad’, 2001. 527 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International and Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 759.7312 G699g1 v.4
This series of the catalog of the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow covers painting from the 18th through the 20th centuries. The first volume in the painting series deals with portrait miniatures by Russian artists or others who painted Russian subjects. The second and fourth volumes are about painting in the 18th century and 2nd half of the 19th century respectively. All volumes have opening essays that trace the history of the collection and highlight the more important pieces. The catalogs are amply illustrated with mostly color reproductions. Entries in volumes 2 and 4 are arranged by painter while the entries in volume 1 are arranged by time period. All entries contain extensive documentation on the works, for example from volume 1 the portrait information shows size, dating, attribution, exhibition data, references for further research and biographical data on the artists and the subjects of the portraits. The texts of all the volumes are supplemented by a number of indexes such as artist, subject, and names mentioned in the text. See the entry on the artist F. Pacz from the volume devoted to portrait miniatures.
Biographical Resources for Russian Art
Please remember that encyclopedias are wonderful resources for biographical research. For art see the subject encyclopedia Populiarnaia khudozhestvennaia entsiklopediia described above . Although some of the resources discussed above may be used for biographical research, others are annotated in the various guides and in the section immediately below.
N.B. This section includes mostly biographical dictionaries or sets that are not covered in the Russian biographical archive. Those few that are both in the RBA and included here are of particular signifance and are noted as such. Resources for Russian biography are extremely rich and the Biographical Archive doesn’t even scratch the surface, so be sure to use this set as a starting point only.
Wassiltschikoff, A. St. Petersbourg: Imp. de l’Acad. Imperiale des Sciences, 1875. 2 vols.
U of I Library Call Number: International and Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 704.942 V44l v.1-2
HathiTrust full-text link:
vol. 1 http://hdl.handle.net/2027/nyp.33433082418561
vol. 2 http://hdl.handle.net/2027/nyp.33433082418579
If you are looking for a portrait of a notable Russian figure before 1875, this set may help you with citations. The entries are arranged alphabetically by surname or first name for some of the nobility and include birth and death dates, place of birth, a brief statement of the person’s career or position in society, and descriptions of the portraits. The citations were gathered based on the portrait collections at several libraries in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and Paris. The text of the entries is in French with some inscriptions given in Russian. Unfortunately, this is not a union list, thus it does not indicate which libraries hold which portraits. There are no illustrations or indexes of any kind. See the entry below about a portrait of Count Simon Vorontsov.
A Dictionary of Russian and Soviet artists 1420-1970.
Milner, John. Woodbridge, England: Antique Collectors’ Club, 1993. 483 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International and Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) Q.709.4703 M635d
Amply illustrated and with hundreds of entries, this English-language dictionary is a good starting point for basic information on Russian artists. The size of the entries varies widely, from several pages long to only a line. After the abbreviation “Lit” can be found bibliographical references for works about the artist and after the abbreviation “Coll” are museums that house the artists work. If the artist worked in particular genres such as theater design or book design, lists of the artist’s works in that genre are included under that heading in the entry. In addition to entries on people, there are also some for movements or artistic groups. The introduction provides a brief survey of the history of Russian art and there is a bibliography of sources at the back. See the entry below on Nikolai Ernestovich Radlov, a graphic artist and poster designer.
Khudozhniki russkogo zarubezh’ia 1917-1939. Biograficheskii slovar’.
Leikind, O.L. et al. Sankt-Peterburg: Notabene, 1999. 2nd edition. 713 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International and Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 709.470922 L5337k
Taking advantage of the access to special collections of emigre materials and the ability to travel to foreign libraries and archives, the compilers have corrected and greatly expanded this new edition of about artists of the Russian emigration. The 750 entries provide basic biographical information and wonderful bibliographical references for artists who were born before 1917. By artists the compilers mean painters, scupltors, set designers, etc. Entries are arranged alphabetically by surname and are supplemented by a special appendix of major art exhibitions that contained the work of the artists included in the text. There are some illustrations of the catalogues and flyers for these exhibitions. The introductory article is a good survey of major events and players of Russian art in emigration. See the entry below on Aleksandra Pregel’.
Arkhitektory moskovskogo moderna. Tvorcheskie portrety.
Nashchokina, M.V. Moskva: Zhiraf, 1998. 315 p.
U of I Library Call Number: Main Stacks 720.922 N178a
Nashchokina, M.V. Moskva: Zhiraf, 2000. 302 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International and Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 720.922 N178s 2000
This biographical dictionary begins with a survey article about Moscow architecture and the style of the Moskovskii modern. The entries are biographical sketches about the architects with basic data, educational information, career highlights and chronological lists of the buildings of each architect. They end with bibliographical references and, for some, archival citations. Entries are arranged alphabetically by surname. Some of the sketches are over five pages long not counting the bibliography. The newer edition has updated references and many illustrations of buildings as well as portraits of the architects. See the image to the left for the entry on Apollon Vasil’evich Pravdin from the 1998 edition.
Zodchie Sankt-Peterburga XVIII vek.
Sankt-Peterburg: Lenizdat, 1997. 1020 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International and Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 720.94721 Z722
This volume is the first in a three-volume series of biographical dictionaries of the architects of Saint Petersburg, both famous and little known. It is divided into three sections: “Arkhitektory barokko,” “Rannii klassitsizm,” and “Strogii klassitsizm.” The articles are extensive, with most over 25 pages long. For example the one on Rastrelli is over 70 pages long. All articles are signed and contain portraits of the architect as well as pertinent illustrations. Although the articles do not have bibliographical references, there is a bibliography of sources consulted at the back. Also at the back is a short biographical dictionary which contains brief biographies of architects and builders, including some who do not merit the much larger entries that comprise the bulk of the dictionary. It is from this section that we excerpted the entry below on Ivan Iakovlevich Blank.
Zodchie Sankt-Peterburga XIX-nachalo XX veka.
Sankt-Peterburg: Lenizdat, 1998. 1068 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International and Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 720.94721 Z721
Zodchie Sankt-Peterburga XX vek.
Sankt-Peterburg: Lenizdat, 2000. 714 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International and Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 720.94721 Z72
These two volumes are the second and third in the three-volume series of biographical dictionaries of the architects of Saint Petersburg, both famous and little known. The second volume is divided into three sections: “Architects of the first half of the 19th century”, “Architects of the second half of the 19th century,” and “Architects of the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.” The third volume has no divisions, it just lists the articles about each of the architects. The articles are extensive, with most over 10 pages long. For example, the one on Luigi Ruska is over 20 pages long. All articles are signed and contain portraits of the architect as well as pertinent illustrations. Although the articles in the second volume do not have bibliographical references, there is a bibliography of sources consulted at the back. The articles in the third volume do provide bibliographical references. Also at the back of both volumes is a short biographical dictionary which contains brief biographies of architects and builders, including some who do not merit the much larger entries that comprise the bulk of the dictionary. It is from this section in volume 2 that we excerpted the entry below on Vladimir Ivanovich Upatchev.
Rossiiskaia akademiia arkhitektury i stroitel’nykh nauk. Dela i liudi. Tom 1. 1992-2002.
Moskva: URSS, 2002. 669 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International and Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) Q.720.92247 R736 v.1
This source is mainly a biographical dictionary of members of the Russian Academy for Architecture and Construction Science (RAASN) from 1992-2002, but it includes other material related to the activities of the Academy during this time period as well. RAASN was founded in 1992. The introductory materials give a history of the founding of the Academy, a chronicle of significant events, and information about the regional branches among other topics. The greater part of the volume is the biographies of members. These biographical articles are usually several pages in length and provide a portrait, date of birth, honors bestowed, institutional memberships, a bibliography of major publications, and descriptions of the individual’s work. Some entries have photographs of buildings, plans, or other works. The biographies are arranged into three sections depending on the type of member: deistvitel’nye chleny, chleny-korrespondenty, pochetnye chleny. There is a brief section at the back for foreign members, but the biographies are on a much smaller scale. The volume ends with a list of members by section and a statement concerning the future of the Academy.
Khudozhniki narodov SSSR. Biobibliograficheskii slovar’ v shesti tomakh.
Moskva: Iskusstvo, 1970-1983.
U of I Library Call Number: International and Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 759.7 K5292 v.1-4:1
The main problem with this set is that it was never finished. It consists of five physical volumes which are enumerated 1-3 and volume 4, parts 1 and 2, but the University of Illinois does not own volume 4, part 2. But if you are looking for biographical information on an artist who lived during any historical time period on the territory of the Former Soviet Union and whose last name appears between A and Ko, this set could help you. It contains thousands of entries for artists from all artistic disciplines such as sculpture, theater art and painting. The biographical data is usually brief, but the bibliographical references often are extensive. The bibliography of sources consulted is valuable for locating other sources on Russian artists. See the entry for the sculptor, Iakov Ambarov.
225 let Akademii khudozhestv SSSR. Katalog vystavki.
Sysoev, P. M.; Rozhdestvenskii, K. I.; (Konstantin Ivanovich); Lebedev, Andrei Konstantinovich. Moskva: Izobrazitel’noe iskusstvo, 1985. 2-e izd., ispr. i dop. 2 vols.
U of I Library Call Number: International and Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 709.47074 D959 1985 v.1-2
This 2-volume set contains brief biographical entries for artists from all categories of fine and applied arts who were members of the Academy of Arts. The first volume covers 1757-1917, the second 1917-1982. Volume 1 opens with an article about the history of the Academy and is followed by biographical sketches of the artists. Each sketch contains biographical data, a portrait of the artist and one or two reproductions of his or her works. Unfortunately, the articles lack bibliographical references, although there is a bibliography at the end of each volume of works about the Academy. See the entry to the left for the painter Kiriak Konstaninovich Kostandi.
Akademiia khudozhestv SSSR. 1983-1987.
Sysoev, P. M.; Ugarov, Boris Sergeevich; Azarkovich, V. G. Moskva: Izobrazitel’noe iskusstvo, 1990. 333 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International and Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 709.47 Ak13
A continuation of the volumes listed directly above, this dictionary contains biographical entries for artists from all categories of the fine and applied arts who were members of the Academy of Arts from 1983-1987. The biographical sketches which are a bit lengthier in this volume contain biographical data, a portrait of the artist and one or two reproductions of his or her works. Unfortunately, the articles lack bibliographical references, although there is a bibliography at the end of each volume of works about the Academy. Follow the link for the entry for the painter Evsei Evseevich Moiseenko.
Spravochnik chlenov i kandidatov v chleny Soiuza khudozhnikov SSSR po sostoianiiu na 1 iiunia 1967 goda.
Moskva: Sovetskii khudozhnik, 1968. 953 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International and Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 709.47 So3s
With thousands of entries, this handbook provides very brief information on members of the Union of Artists in the Soviet Union as of 1967. Entries contain full name, date of birth, genre of art, and an address and phone number. Although some of the information is grossly out of date, this source can still help with finding some facts about more obscure artists as well as giving an overview of the composition of the Union in 1967. See the entries above.
Kto est’ kto v sovremennom iskusstve Moskvy + Sovremennoe iskusstvo Moskvy 1995.
Moskva: Album, 1993. + Moskva: ABC, 1996.
U of I Library Call Number: International and Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 700.92 K949 1993 + 700.92 K9491 1995
This Who’s Who of Russian artists in contemporary Moscow was planned as an annual publication. The University of Illinois has two of these volumes, 1993 and 1995, which appear to be the only two published to date. Besides brief biographical data and lists of exhibitions, this source has an unusual component, opinion pieces about the current art scene in Moscow by the artists who are part of it. At the end of the book are address lists for galleries, publication information on current art periodicals and information on art groups active in Moscow. The 1995 volume lacks the opinion pieces, but includes data on art historians and art critics. See the entry for Tatiana Khengstler from the 1995 issue.
Kollektsionery staroi Moskvy. Illiustrirovannyi biograficheskii slovar’.
Moskva: Nezavisimaia gazeta, 1997. 526 p.
U of I Library Call Number: International and Area Studies Russian Reference (Slavic) 790.1320922 P768k
This biographical dictionary is a unique source, for it provides biographical articles on great Russian collectors. It includes collectors of art, antiquities, books, toys, manuscripts and other cultural objects. The articles are typically several pages in length with numerous bibliographic references for further reading. They are arranged alphabetically by the surname of the collector. All entries have a portrait of the collector. The text is supplemented by several indexes: for names, type of collection, section/street in Moscow, geographical name, and museums and exhibitions. Follow the link for the first page of the entry on Tikhon Fedorovich Bol’shakov, a collector of old books, manuscripts and icons.
There are hundreds of web sites in Russia devoted to artistic topics as well as many sites produced outside of Russia about Russian art. The challenge is to sift through all of them to find what you need. The first step is to try to find a portal or gateway site that covers the genre of art that you are interested in. A few such portals are described below. To find others use a Russian search engine such as Yandex or Mail.ru. Additionally, these search engines have catalogs of popular websites on a wide array of topics: Yandex Catalog, Mail.ru Catalog.
From Russia with Art.
Sponsored by the multimedia publisher ArtInfo which in turn has been sponsored by the Russian Culture Fund and ITAR-TASS, this website is an excellent source for Russian modern art information online. It maintains a database of information in English on artists and artistic institutions and events. The biographical section provides biographical sketches, bibliographies, exhibition details and information about which institutions hold the works of the artist. Often there is photograph of the artist as well. If you click on the section for artworks, you will be able to view reproductions of the works of the artists included in the database. The section on establishments gives details on galleries, museums, publishers, institutes, etc. such as the director’s name, the scope of the institution, and contact information. These entries are also illustrated with photographs. See the sample to the left which shows the beginning of the biographical entry for the artist Sergei Galeta.
This site which is maintained by the State Darwin Museum calls itself a “comprehensive site containing information about most Russian museums, galleries and cultural websites.” (Muzei Rossii, homepage). It has been in existence since 1996 and it is a wonderful portal for a wide variety of Russian cultural information. Over 2500 museums, galleries, and exhibitions are covered. Institutions are divided based on the type of materials they collect such as museums of art, history, literature, music, theater, etc. Entries include basic historical data for each institution, a description of the collections, and contact information such as URL’s for the homepages and email addresses. The database on the site allows for searching of the entries by type of institution or keyword within the descriptions. There is also a section of internet resources aimed at the museum professional and information about subscribing to various Russian art listservs. Use this site to find out what is on the web in the world of Russian museums.