The Humanities Project Events for October 2008

Tradition in Transition: Russian Icons in the Age of the Romanovs
Exhibition runs from October 5, 2008 through January 4, 2009
Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, Grand Gallery
500 University Ave., Rochester, NY 14607 (Hours, Maps and Directions)

Iverskaia Mother of God
Iverskaia Mother of God (ca. 1875-1900)
Tempera on wood with silver gilt, filigree enamel, and seed pearls
Collection of Hillwood Museum & Gardens
Bequest of Marjorie Merriweather Post

Russian icons have long been admired and collected as works of art. But first and foremost, icons were—and are—sacred objects meant to play a central role in religious life.

This exhibition brings together 43 icons and oklads (decorative covers) ranging from humble paintings on wood to luxurious works embellished with gold, silver, pearls and precious jewels. The earliest date from the 1600s, just before Peter the Great opened Russia to Western influences after 700 years of virtual isolation. The latest are from the rule of the last tsar, Nicholas II. On tour for the first time, the works are from three private collections, including that of cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post.



Tradition in Transition is organized by the Hillwood Museum & Gardens in collaboration with the Steinhardt-Sherlock Trust and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC. It is made possible in Rochester by the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Fund, with additional support from the George D. and Frieda B. Abraham Foundation, the Chest and Dorris Carlson Charitable Fund, and Deanne Molinari.

Subverting the Sacred: The Face of Lenin
Exhibition runs from October 5, 2008 through January 4, 2009
Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, Grand Gallery
500 University Ave., Rochester, NY 14607 (Hours, Maps and Directions)

Portrait of Lenin
Portrait of Lenin

Images of Vladimir Ilich Lenin, founder of the Russian Communist Party and first leader of the Soviet Union, permeated every aspect of Soviet society from his death in 1924 until the union's breakup in 1991. Despite Lenin's objections to any sort of cult behavior, religious or secular, his face—reproduced on traditional artworks and mass-produced objects alike—would become a "new icon" for the Soviet citizenry. Organized by MAG, this companion show to Tradition in Transition brings together paintings, sculpture, ceramics and other artifacts from the collection of David Rittenhouse, a University of Rochester graduate and former member of the US Foreign Service.



Christ Enthroned
Christ Enthroned from Portable Iconostasis (ca. 1700)
Collection of Hillwood Museum & Gardens
Gift of Mrs. Charles E. Dickerson, Jr., in memory of Ambassador Augusto Rosso, 1970
Public Lecture
Sunday, October 5, 2008, 3:00 p.m.
Memorial Art Gallery auditorium
Free to UR students and Gallery members. Free with Gallery admission to non-members

Russia icons have long been admired and collected as works of art. But first and foremost, icons were—and are—sacred objects meant to play a central role in religious life.

This exhibition brings together 43 icons and oklads (decorative covers) ranging from humble paintings on wood to luxurious works embellished with gold, silver, pearls and precious jewels. The earliest date from the 1600s, just before Peter the Great opened Russia to Western influences after 700 years of virtual isolation. The latest are from the rule of the last tsar, Nicholas II. On tour for the first time, the works are from three private collections, including that of cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post.

Professor Wendy Salmond, curator of Tradition in Transition: Russian Icons in the Age of the Romanovs, will speak during the opening weekend of the two exhibitions.

Andrei Rublev Ad Poster
Ad Poster for Andrei Rublev
Andrei Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev (1966)
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
7:00 p.m., The Curtis Theater, George Eastman House
Free admission and open to the public

Andrei Tarkovsky's 1966 masterpiece Andrei Rublev, based on the life of the legendary 15th-century icon painter, allows the exploration of the authority of both icon and art in the context of late modernity. Andrei Rublev is also the subject of Robert Bird's lecture The Celluloid Icon at the symposium on November 15.

Read more about the film on Wikipedia.