M A Y  20,  2012

Whatever you say, anniversaries are a great thing! Now, could Prof. Ivan Tsvetayev have thought when founding a museum for poor students a hundred years ago that his undertaking would emerge as one of the largest among the leading museums of Russia, that not only nor so much students would visit it, and that those eager to attend a regular exhibition would line for hours on end, be it rain or cold.

An anniversary is important not so much for fans and admirers. Can you think of a better occasion for a museum to draw the attention of the powers that be to its problems and needs? And now there are articles in all the leading periodicals and short of daily broadcasts on every TV channel, and even “promises”of extra allocations for museum development. What is more, 27 of the biggest and most respected museums of the world have responded to the Pushkin Museum director’s request and lent one or two works from their collections to fill in the gaps in the Pushkin Museum exposition due to the absence of concrete artists or concrete artworks in the museum stocks.

masson It Is Only the First Hundred Years That the Going Is Hard! “Imaginary Museum” Exhibition at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

André Masson. Full Water, 1951

As I wandered through the museum halls during the opening ceremony, it occurred to me that it was indeed a splendid idea to make visitors go practically through the entire museum in search of the lent masterpieces. I must confess shamefacedly that I myself haven’t been to many of the museum halls for years. Most of the visitors not so much looked for new artwork that had been brought from all over the world as examined with curiosity the permanent exposition and the halls, to which they had not been for quite awhile. In halls with various archaeological exhibits I had to say over and again that no copy, however masterfully executed, can ever compare with the original. It just can’t, no matter what!

serna It Is Only the First Hundred Years That the Going Is Hard! “Imaginary Museum” Exhibition at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts

Ismael de la Serna. Magnolia, 1930

Needless to say, there are some personal factors that have contributed to my positive perception of the museum anniversary. I’ve recently shared with you my impressions of the exhibition “Portraits of Collectors”, which displays, among other things, several graphic works from my collection. The “Imaginary Museum” exposition also includes two paintings that may soon be transferred to the Pushkin Museum collection, but still are part of my collection. One was done by Ismael de la Serna and the other by André Masson, two artists whose works the Pushkin Museum doesn’t have in its collection, unlike other leading world museums. It was precisely for this reason that they were chosen for show at this exhibition. For any collector such fact is extremely important and gratifying. In short, everything that is currently happening at the Pushkin Museum gives me a feeling of personal involvement and nothing but positive emotions.