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March 16, 2022 / Irene2468

Summer of 2022 at the Newberry – Mikhail Vrubel: Fusion of Art and Literature

Mikhail Vrubel. Pearl Shell, 1904. Coal, gauche, pastel on cardboard. The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Mikhail Vrubel (1856-1910), a genius of fin-de-siècle Russian art, interweaves beauty and treachery, capturing disorientation and the threatening nature of the modern world in the manner of the Symbolist and Art Nouveau artists. During this five-week seminar, we will follow the structure of the recent Vrubel retrospective at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow as a network of evolving, interlinked motifs, to showcase the development of his stunning crystalline technique and his inspiration in folk tradition and literature. We will examine Vrubel’s work alongside the Russian folk epics and tales of Nikolai Gogol and Alexander Pushkin, “The Demon” by Mikhail Lermontov, and poems by Alexander Blok and Valery Bryusov.

I was fortunate to spend December of 2021 in Russia, attending the exhibition of Mikhail Vrubel at the Tretyakov Gallery (November 2021 – March 2022), which featured over 300 works from 14 Russian and foreign museums and 8 private collections. I interviewed the curator of the exhibition, Irina Shumanova, and I am excited to share her insights, impressions, and photographs she took, as well as excerpts from research articles in the extensive exhibition catalogue. Please click here for the full course description.

Our class will meet via Zoom on Saturdays from 10:00 am to noon central time, starting June 4, 2022 and ending July 2, 2022. Registration begins on May 11, 2022 at 9:00 am central time; click here to begin registering on Livestream.

The Newberry offers a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students. Newberry Associates members at the Literati level and above will have access to early registration beginning May 5th at 10:00 am. Learn more about becoming a Newberry member here. For more information on the Newberry’s registration process, click here.