Saturday, December 31, 2011


Today a friend and I went to view The Museum of Russian Art. Neither of us knew a special exhibit was on display, so we had mixed feelings. Both of us were anxious to see the awesome Russian art which was imported in the early 90's (The museum was formerly located next door to my workplace and a few of us would walk over now and then to appreciate the gorgeous originals - huge paintings in stunning, carved wooden frames.), but were surprised at the exceptional quality and beauty of the display on loan from Ukraine.

Now, I've been fortunate to travel to Ukraine (2008), but I didn't know that they had such extensive artifacts from centuries ago. Yes, today we saw ceramic jars, brass swords, and gold jewelry from as long ago as 6th century B. C! The gold was incredible - earrings, belt buckles, headpieces (rosettes), clothes fasteners, bowls, urns, ornate animals, and more. It was interesting to see how the wealthy were buried: wives were killed, to lie with the deceased, along with horses!

When I was in Ukraine, most of what I learned referred to the suffering of their people under communism and during WWII. This display predated this. The other part of the display was the original art work of Oleg Vassiliev. Mr. V has immigrated from Moscow to Minneapolis. While living in Russia, it was illegal for him to paint for himself, so these paintings were hidden. For income, he illustrated children's books, which was perfectly legal. On display are six or more of the books - mostly fairy tales. It would be fun to own a copy of his illustrated book of Little Red Riding Hood.

Photography in the museum is not allowed, so my photos are of the beautiful gift shop. They have so many lovely things, but even with the huge post-Christmas discounts, things were still spendy. We learned displays change from time to time, so we will return sometime in the future. Hopefully, some of the Russian art will be on display again. If not, we'll broaden our minds a bit more with the unexpected.

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