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The reception of Russian art in Europe and the United States is the subject of a three-day international conference, initiated by Silvia Burini, Director of the Centro Studi sulle Arti della Russia (CSAR) at the University Ca’ Foscari in Venice and Natasha Kurchanova, former President of the Society of Historians of East European, Eurasian, and Russian Art and Architecture, Inc. (SHERA), and co-organized by CSAR, SHERA and the Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre (CCRAC).

This conference brings together scholars from Europe, the US, and Russia on the centenary of the October Revolution to present their work on a broader historical spectrum than the events of only 1917. By focusing on the reception of Russian art abroad, it hopes to engage with ideas of continuity and connection more than rupture and separation. In doing so, it promises to bring out new perspectives on the study of the history of Russian art as a vibrant and growing field. The conference organizers are part of an international network of scholarly societies and research institutes that came together with the revival of SHERA in 2013. This is their first collaborative conference.

Conference Organizers

Centro Studi sulle Arti della Russia (CSAR) at the University Ca’ Foscari was founded in 2011 as the first research center in Italy dedicated to the research and advancement of Russia’s rich cultural heritage. The Center’s purpose is to carry out initiatives devoted to the history of arts from ancient times to the present day, including music, theater, film, and the visual arts. Among the Center’s activities are long-term and short-term research laboratories, international conferences, festivals for film and the performing arts, publication of scholarly work, compiling art collection catalogues, and promoting cultural initiatives oriented primarily towards the younger generation. The Center’s international and interdisciplinary mission is the study of Russian culture in all its variety.

The Society of Historians of Eastern European, Eurasian and Russian Art and Architecture, Inc. (SHERA) was founded in 1995 to bring together scholars specializing in the art and architecture of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, from ancient times to the present day. SHERA creates a sense of community for scholars around the world, serving as a vibrant source of information and exchange. An affiliated society of the College Art Association (CAA) and of the Association of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), SHERA is a not-for-profit corporation oriented exclusively towards the support of scholarship. Its purpose is to promote research, provide a forum for ongoing conversations on areas of mutual interest, and foster contacts and collaboration among scholars through activities such an informational online network H-NET SHERA and active participation in research conferences.

The Cambridge Courtauld Russian Art Centre (CCRAC) is a joint initiative between the Department of History of Art, University of Cambridge, and The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, to provide a forum for the investigation of Russian and Soviet art. It aims to stimulate debate, support collaborative work, and generate and disseminate research on all aspects of the visual arts, architecture, design, and exhibitions in Russia and the Soviet Union. CCRAC builds on the expertise of their combined faculty and students to provide a new focus for the investigation of Russian art, taking research and interest to a new level, while at the same time creating a dynamic interface between cutting edge research and the subject’s growing audiences outside academia. it has forged partnerships with many of Russia’s main centers of art historical enquiry, organized academic exchanges, and supported the development of major exhibitions in national museums and galleries.

M.T. Abraham Foundation promotes pioneering scholarship and research in art history by organizing international traveling exhibitions of works from its collections to museums and institutions around the world. In its desire to assist and promote the appreciation of fine arts, the Foundation continues to expand its holdings with the ultimate goal of creating a wide-ranging and comprehensive permanent collection with the goal of establishing scholarships and arranging traveling exhibitions.

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