Art Russe and Lord Montagu of Beaulieu have signed an agreement to establish a permanent showcase of Russian art at Beaulieu, one of the leading tourist attractions in the UK. This gallery is just one of Art Russe’s projects aimed at increasing awareness of Russian and Soviet art.

About 25 artworks from the Art Russe collection will be displayed at Beaulieu, initially in Palace House, which has been home to the Montagu family since 1538 and was formerly the Great Gatehouse of the 13th Century Beaulieu Abbey. Thematic exhibitions at this new permanent gallery of Russian art will be renewed each quarter.

The Russian artworks selected for display at Beaulieu are part of Art Russe’s collection; the fund is headed by entrepreneur and philanthropist Andrey Filatov. Established in 2012, Art Russe aims to promote 20th century Russian art and increase awareness about this significant period in the history of Russian art with an international audience.

Beaulieu will display artworks from late 19th century to the 1990s, a period which most fully reflects the main stages of development of the Russian school of art. The exhibition will include works by Konstantin Maximov (Graduate, 1960), Mai Danzig (And the World Remembers its Saviors, 1951), Alexander Laktionov (Letter from the Front, 1951), Fyodor Reshetnikov (Low Marks Again, 1948-49), Nicholas Roerich (And We Are Not Afraid, 1922), Arcady Plastov (Botanic Lesson, 1938), Geli Korzhev (The Deserter and The Laundress, 1985-1990, Hammer and Sickle, 2003), Igor Obrosov (Greeting and Seeing off the Trains, 1980), Viktor Ivanov (Smokebreak, 1994) and others.

A selection of Art Russe’s masterpieces, including works by Nicholai Fechin and Nicholas Roehrich, will be on display at Banqueting House and then at the Tower of London for private viewings in June and July. Organised by Art Russe as an invitation-only private event, the viewing will feature works representing the highlights of Art Russe’s collection. Art Russe’s collection compromises more than 200 paintings and sculptures by Russia’s most significant artists.

The success of Art Russe’s international exhibition programme and publishing projects reflects the growing interest in Russian and Soviet art. At London's Saatchi Gallery, the exhibition dedicated to the 70th anniversary of victory in WWII was attended by over 30,000 visitors. The exhibition Art Russe Collection of 20th Century Russian and Soviet Art: War and Peace in Abu Dhabi, the first major exhibition of Russian art in the Middle East, was extended by two months. Selected works from the Art Russe collection have been included in various exhibition projects and are currently on display in museums around the world, including the painting Freedom! by Evsei Moiseyenko, on long-term loan to Israel's national Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem.

The decision by Beaulieu to establish a Russian gallery reflects growing interest in the Russian cultural heritage as an important component of the world’s art history. Today, permanent exhibitions of Russian art exist in Spain and the Netherlands. In June 2009, a branch of the State Hermitage Museum opened in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and in March 2015 a branch of the State Russian Museum opened in the Spanish city of Malaga. In February 2013, an agreement was signed providing for the creation of an exhibition of Russian art in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Welcoming the Art Russe collection, Lord Montagu said “In the past, many stately home owners, including my ancestors, collected art from around the world, and so it is entirely appropriate I should be continuing that tradition by hosting this collection at Beaulieu. Having seen some of the paintings myself, I have no doubt that they will add a new dimension to Beaulieu and will be much enjoyed by our visitors.”

Art Russe founder Andrey Filatov said: “This agreement is an important milestone for Art Russe. All our projects, from exhibitions to the publication of books, are aimed at introducing international audiences to Russian artists, to break through the iron curtain, which isolated the Russian art school from the world’s cultural context. The establishment of a Russian gallery in the UK is recognition of the importance of Russian art as part of the global cultural scene. I am pleased and proud that artworks from the collection of Art Russe will now be accessible to the widest possible audience, and both UK residents and visitors alike will be able to discover Russian art, and through it, modern Russia.”

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